Archive for February, 2017


Monkey came to me the other night to ask me an important question.

She waited until I wasn’t distracted by one of my favorite TV shows, “The Walking Dead”.  However, she did ask during a commercial break, so I did miss part of the show.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m honored that she came to me.

Monkey is now 16.  Apparently, she’s been having some “woman issues” that has her concerned and asked me if I could make her an appointment with the doctor.

I asked her several questions to make sure I understood the nature of her concerns.  I’ll admit, my first thought was she is pregnant and I asked her if she thought she was (her boyfriend, while sweet as can be, is 18, so Hun and I have been insistent on chaperones and expectations – but they’re kids – they’ll do what they’ll do).  She insisted that she was not.  Other than being concerned that a pregnancy test at the doctor’s office might involve a needle, she was unconcerned that the doctor would require one.

Monkey is usually a horrible liar, so I’m as confident as I can be that she doesn’t believe she is pregnant, so I currently choose to believe she isn’t as well.

At one point during the conversation, my show came back on and Monkey pointed that out.  We weren’t done talking (the sound was already muted, but I didn’t think about it till later that I could have just paused the show on our DVR – duh!).  I told her that our conversation was much more important than any silly TV show.  I can’t be certain, but I think that made her feel better.

Towards the end of our conversation, I asked her if she had talked to her mom about these concerns.  She quietly said no.  When I asked why not, she just shrugged her shoulders and looked away.  I encouraged her to talk to her mom about this.  I reminded her that her dad and I only wanted her to be safe and healthy and the doctor may want to do some things that her mom didn’t agree with.  She nodded her head and we left the conversation there with me promising to make her an appointment.

This may end up being a battle with Jetsam.

Other than routine doctor appointments, she fights us on everything else medical related.

I suspect that one of the treatments the doctor will suggest is for Monkey to go on birth control.  Not because she is sexually active (although, she might be), but rather to help control her hormones.  If that happens, I am going to highly suggest an option that doesn’t require remembering to take pills.

And anything I suggest is automatically wrong in Jetsam’s opinion.

Once I have the appointment made, I’m going to set Monkey down and talk to her some more to make sure I understand why she hasn’t talked to her mom about this.  I’m also going to explain why I need her to talk to her mom about it.  Why she needs to be able to confidently stand up to her mom if she disagrees with her mom’s opinion, especially in regards to Monkey’s own health.

It’ll be an interesting next couple of weeks.

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Acceptance & Peace

I’ve re-written this post several times, both on paper and in my head.

There just doesn’t seem to be an easy way for me to explain what I’m thinking and feeling.

Recently, a good friend pointed out to me that she believes I’m way too structured and that I always appear to be “perfect”.

This bothers me enough to explore why it bothers me.

You, my dear readers, know that I struggle with my own sense of self worth – but others who know me in real life just see the surface of who they want to see, rather than digging deeper into why I do things.

This friend attempted to dig deeper, but due to circumstances, we weren’t able to get very far in my explanations to her questions.  As I’d like to attempt to go back to the conversation with her at some point, I’m going to practice my thoughts here.  I hope you don’t mind.

Structure

She sees me as being too structured and doesn’t see me as being spontaneous – but I can be, very much so.  I just like to know that my responsibilities are met and completed first.  Some responsibilities can be put off for a couple of hours or days, some cannot.  If I know my to-do list can be postponed, and I want to do what is suggested, then I will JUMP at the opportunity.  If I don’t want to do what is being suggested, then my ever present to-do list is a perfect, socially acceptable “excuse” for saying no.  Maybe I just need to start saying no instead.

I thrive on structure, consistency and repetition.  While I do get bored, it isn’t because my structure is too rigid, but rather because I haven’t planned anything “fun” to do in my life recently.  I prefer to plan my relaxation and leisure time.  Planning for relaxation allows me to truly relax without the nagging feelings of worry and doubt that plague me, whispering in my head, “you shouldn’t be relaxing, you should be doing THAT instead”.

So, why does she think I’m TOO structured?

Because I’ll comment about the meal I made on Sunday, just to eat as my lunches for the entire week. I spend time organizing my schedule.  I make shopping lists and will stick to them.

For the most part, she does the exact opposite.

There’s nothing wrong with either system – what works for her, doesn’t work for me and reverse.

Perfect

She also sees me as attempting to appear “perfect” too.  She knows I’m not perfect, but it bothers her that she sees me as someone who “acts” this way.

That’s just it – I’m not “acting” as she says.  What she, and everyone else, sees is me.  I was raised to act this way.  I have spent the last 40 years behaving the way I do.  I don’t act the way I do to make others uncomfortable, but rather, if I acted any way differently, I would be uncomfortable myself.

I’m confident in my abilities.  I know what I can do.  I know what my strengths are.  When I agree to do something, I agree to those things that play to my strengths and that I know I can do and follow through on.  I usually have an image in my mind of how something will work or turn out – and I’m usually right.

I also know what I cannot do.  I know what my weaknesses are.  When I stay silent on a project, it’s because I do not think I will be successful at it.  I know that I do not have the knowledge or the skills to be competent.  If I offer to help, it is because I want to learn how to do that skill that someone else is doing, not that I know what I’m doing.

So, if she knows I’m not perfect, then why does it bother her?

My opinion is it’s because she’s attempting to measure herself against me.  She sees herself as a “hot mess” and is vocal about her flaws.  I am not vocal about my own flaws.  I don’t see the need to announce it whenever the thought goes through my head – she typically does.

I love my friend just the way she is.  We balance each other out.  She is funny, generous, and outspoken.  She knows what her limits are and will not hesitate to speak up regarding them.  She will call you out if you’re doing something wrong.  And she would give you her last dime if it meant it would keep you safe.

She is the kind of friend that I wish some days I would be.  However, if I was more like her, I wouldn’t be me.

I suspect she wishes, just like me, that she would be more like me.  She sees my strengths and measures her weaknesses against them and finds them lacking.

I think this bothers me because I’m finally accepting who I am and I’m no longer trying to be someone I’m not.  And then my friend, whom I love dearly, is trying to change who she is to be someone she is not.  I hope she can find peace and acceptance in being herself.

Calm Out Of Chaos

There are subtle noises at my work being made that are leaning towards change.  At barely a whisper, it’s hard to tell if the change is merely my imagination or might actually happen.  Usually, I can tell when something is “off” and right now, something is “off”.

One of my coworkers, while very nice and a great person; usually talks or makes some type of noise for the better part of the day.  Random song lyrics out of nowhere, blurting out what she’s thinking regardless of the subject (she once informed us she needed to go #2), and wild statements that you’re positive aren’t true (my mom believe’s you’re the devil).  My assumption is she talks to hear herself talk; but she’s also commented that she takes meds for ADHD, so that probably plays a large role in her personality.

Recently, she had an upcoming day off.  One of the other ladies asked her what her plans for the day were – her response was “I’m going to a job interview”.

No one said a word – positive or negative – we were all silent, like she hadn’t said a thing.  Just like we react to 95% of her statements.

I asked one of the other coworkers (when we were alone) what her thoughts were.  She responded with, “I don’t think she’s going to an interview.  I think she just said that because she wanted someone to say ‘no, don’t leave!  We’d be lost without you!’.”

But, for some reason, I think she was serious.

I don’t know.  I could be wrong – I’ve been wrong before.

This leads me to another, similar, event.

While I did change jobs about 6 months ago, I am still with the same company.  I’ve been with this company for over 22 years now.  Over those years, they’ve done different processes for employee evaluations.  Their current model is that everyone has their evaluation done during the same time-period.  So, even though I’ve only been in the position for 6 months, I just completed my yearly evaluation.

It was a decent evaluation, with my manager praising the changes I have helped with during my short time in the department.  She went so far as to say, “I wish there were 6 of you!”  She also commented that she wished I would go full-time (I’m only part-time at 28 hours a week currently).

I stayed silent on her comments.

In the past, I would have agreed immediately to whatever my manager wanted from me.  Bigger challenges?  I’m on it!  Want me to work myself crazy?  No problem!

But not now.  I reflected on her comments and reviewed the subtle shifts happening in the department.  I see patterns, and can intuit things before others see the same things.  I think we’re going to have a job opening in the department within the next 6 months.

And if my manager stays true to her statement, I’m not going to take the offered full-time job.

This is a huge change for me business wise.  In the past, I would have jumped right on it.  Already thinking about how I could change the position for the better (before I was in the position or even before being offered the position).

Now I know that if I took the position I would eventually be miserable.

Within a year, I would be stressed out and, eventually, willing to throw away my career just like I was before.

With the current job I have, and the personal growth I have experienced over the last several months, I know what I want out of life now.  I know what I want to be when I “grow up”.

I want to create.  Specifically, I love to create calm out of chaos.

That’s what I’m currently doing.

My core job duties are the same as what my coworkers’ job duties are – except I only do those duties about 35% of the time, while they do them around 85-95% of the time.  The other 65% of my time is dedicated to special projects.  The job didn’t start this way, but it has morphed as my manager saw my strengths and utilized them.

The projects I am given are a complete and utter disaster when they are handed to me.

I make sense of the project.  I create processes on how to do the project going forward.  I test out my process and revamp and revise as needed/necessary until it makes sense.

In six months of being in the office, I have tackled 6 major projects.  Most are completed; a couple of projects are still in process.  I’m given a new project every few weeks.  I have more projects “in queue” to be worked on than I currently have time for.

And I am ecstatic!

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Will I be willing to help out my manager in a pinch if my coworker does quit?  Yes.

Will I do it without a plan to return to what I’m currently doing?  No.

I finally feel like I’m a grown up.  Funny how things like this work.

Makes Me Wonder

I’m in a new job; and with the new job comes new people.

People who have not heard my stories for years on end.  People who have not been exposed to the craziness of my life, as it was happening.

And it makes me wonder.

Wonder about what they would say if I was another character in my stories.

What would they say to me if I was Flotsam or Jetsam relaying my tales of woes?

What would they say if I was LaLa, or Monkey, or Rowdy?

I’ve had this issue in the past.  Wondering if my side of the story I’m in is worthy of telling.  Wondering how the others in my life would tell the same story from their point of view.

Wondering why it matters to me.

And then the absurdness of my thoughts makes me laugh.

To the people I wonder about, I am the villain in their story.

The wicked witch.

And worse names that I will not relay here….again.

I wonder why I wonder.  Why I care what their side of the story is.

My side of the story is no less important than their side after all.

Different perspectives, different views on life.

Am I the villain?  Am I the misunderstood stepmom?  Am I the unlikely hero?

I am none of those things.  And yet, I am all of them.

Should I concern myself with their perspective?

Some days I think yes, some days I think no.

Then there are days like today that make me wonder why I worry about it at all.

I think that makes me empathetic.  Maybe.

I know it makes me human.

I wonder why it bothers me to think about things like this.  And then I wonder if any of the characters in my story think about me in the same way.  Wondering if I tell the story differently than they do.

Then I wonder why these thoughts pop into my head.  Why they swirl round and around.

It makes me wonder if I am crazy.  Or if I am normal.

And then the thoughts disappear, down the drain of my consciousness.  To be replaced by new thoughts, new wonders, new swirls.

Only for the thoughts to back up back into my consciousness, unannounced, unexpected, unlooked for; like a clog, spilling over into my new thoughts and ideas.

Begging to be dealt with, lest the mess be made larger by ignoring the problem of the clogged thoughts.

And so I wonder how to deal with the clogged thoughts.

And just like a drain, I release them, out, into the universe.

Sharing them with you.