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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.

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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.

Desire, Belief, Action

Staying with my theme of podcasts and how they have affected me, I stumbled upon one called the “Unmistakable Creative”.

I have only listened to a few at this point (3? 4?), but they are really inspiring and I have enjoyed them immensely.  The latest one that really struck a chord with me is called “The Business of Belief with Tom Asacker”.  In it, they speak of his book (of the same title), but Mr. Asacker sums it up beautifully with this statement:

“Belief is what drives people’s decisions.  This has to do with people’s desires.  Their desires drive their beliefs and their beliefs drive their actions, period.  It’s as simple as that and it’s as complex as that because people are unaware of this.  We are being pushed and pulled by our environment.  We’re just trying to make it through the day: have a decent day, have nothing go wrong, and at the end of the day flip on Netflix.  That’s what’s going on in the marketplace.  When you get somebody to adopt what you do, you’re getting somebody to switch one belief for another belief and then going back on autopilot.”  Tom Asacker

He goes into detail in the podcast how you cannot start with evidence when attempting to convince someone of the greatness of a person, place or thing.  You have to start with their desire and their belief system.  If you can tap into that, then you have a chance of changing their belief.

But NOT with evidence.  That was eye opening to me.

I have spent the last 15 years trying, unsuccessfully, to prove that I did not cause Hun and Jetsam’s separation and divorce.  I have presented evidence, proving that I was nowhere around – and it has done nothing.

Jetsam believes, with all of her heart, despite the evidence, that I am the reason they are no longer together.

Maybe it is her deepest desire that their marriage had been different.  Maybe her desire is that it should have been successful, and since it wasn’t, her belief is that it wasn’t her fault.  If her belief is it wasn’t her fault, then the fault has to lie with someone – and the most logical assumption on her part is it is to be my fault.

What she doesn’t understand is that the blame for a marriage, any marriage, not working out is on both parties.  Both Jetsam and Hun, for probably vastly different reasons, felt like the marriage was no longer sustainable.  That doesn’t make her the bad guy – and it also means – that doesn’t make Hun the bad guy.  And it definitely doesn’t make me the bad guy.

At this point, unless Jetsam decides to do something about her desires and beliefs, there is nothing I can do to change her mind.  I am going to stop trying.  There is no point in having the conversation ever again.  It is a waste of my time and energy.

This theory that desire drives belief and belief drives action also helps to explain my own actions over my lifetime.

The reason I have felt like a failure, like an impostor.

I have desired to create my entire life.  It doesn’t matter what I create (art, processes, design, etc) – I LOVE to create order out of chaos.

From early on, I was discouraged from creating.  Not that I was told “not to”, but rather told “that (project) will not earn you a life”.  The message boiled down to – creating will not pay the bills.  I know the people who expressed this belief to me was thinking ‘starving artist’ mentality and they only wished to see me stable and successful in my life.  There was no ill intent on their part.

However, by telling me that my core desire, to create, was a waste of time, I spent a large portion of my life denying that I was good at it.  If I shouldn’t desire to create, then my belief was that I am a failure for wanting to.  By believing that I’m a failure to want to create, I have self-sabotaged my own actions causing myself to actually fail.  This has reinforced my belief to crush my own desires.

EUREKA!!!  I think I just stumbled upon why I have struggled all of my life.

And…..

HALLELUJAH!!!  I am not a failure!

All I need to do is reprogram my own thoughts.

My desire is to create.  My desire is not a failure.

My belief is that I am good at creating.  My belief is not a failure.

My action is to create the best I know how to create.  My action may not have the desired result, but the act of creating itself is not a failure – just a step that did not work in the goal of creation.

It took almost 40 years for me to get to this point and this realization.  I’m going to make sure it doesn’t take another 40 years to change my own perspective.

Impostor Syndrome

The very title has me hanging my head in defeat.

Who do I think I am?  Why do people think they can trust me with these responsibilities?  Surely everyone knows that I’m a fraud, just as I know it.  One day, they will know that I’m not who they think I am and will point and say “SHAME!”

What Is Impostor Syndrome?

Impostor Syndrome is a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, or fraudulence despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  It strikes smart, successful individuals.  It often rears its head after an especially notable accomplishment, like admission to a prestigious university, public acclaim, winning an award, or earning a promotion. 

Source

I have felt like an impostor most of my life.

Why?

I don’t have a ready answer for that question.

When I was a child, I didn’t feel like I fit in with the other kids.  I wanted desperately to fit in, but my likes and dislikes didn’t fit in with theirs.  So, I changed, as best I could, to try to fit into their mould.  I loved wearing dresses in elementary school, but no one else did – so I forced myself to wear pants.  They loved music, I preferred my environment to be quiet and peaceful – when I did listen to music, it wasn’t what everyone else was listening to; so, again, I was labeled different.

Going into the teenage years is awkward enough for most kids; to me it seemed like everyone else had figured it out, but I was from another planet.  I liked school, loved learning – but that’s not what rebellious teenagers are supposed to do.  So I didn’t study, my one avenue that I could successfully rebel at – and succeeded with good grades anyway.  I was in honors classes, and I questioned why – I didn’t study, I didn’t want to care about getting good grades – couldn’t the adults see that?

And then it happened, I actually failed.  It came at a time when I should have been at the top of my glory – a senior in high school, a major part in a play, a leader on my team – and I failed English class.  School rules state you cannot participate if you fail – and I finally proved what no one else knew but me – I was a failure.  I was ashamed of myself.  I ran away, literally dropping out of school, certain that everyone was pointing at me behind my back.

The months that I was away from home were not all roses and fun, but neither was it gloom and doom either.  I learned a lot while I was away – about the world, about myself, and about life in general.

I had no direction, no purpose to my life at that point.  I fell into adulthood working, paying rent and wondering what was next.

Marriage – which was again a failure (if you count that I divorced him within 2 years).  Yes, I had my wonderful son Buddy out of the deal, but even that made me question myself at times.  Flotsam was ashamed of our son; he was ashamed of his disabilities; he was ashamed of me for “giving” him a disabled son.  The doubts would occasionally creep in, would make me wonder – am I a failure as a mother too?

Work was no better.  I was quickly promoted, a high-school drop-out, from employee to supervisor – the youngest in the company (I was only 21).  I had other employees questioning, within my hearing, what I had done to deserve the promotion over them?  I blew the comments off, I worked hard, and I learned all I could.  But still, I felt like I didn’t belong there.

Every few years, another promotion to another department, brought back the same doubts, the same questions – why?  Why do they believe in me?  Why do they trust me?

During this time I married Hun, with his three children; and Jetsam who openly questioned my value.  She acknowledged that I was a mother, but sneered that I was obviously not as good of a mother as she was.  That I failed at being a mother.  The kids, feeding off their mom’s disdain for me (desperate for her approval), echoed her statements, determined not to give me a chance.  So it became a self-fulfilling prophecy for them – in their eyes I am a failure of a parent.  Today, I still question what I did wrong; how, when I love these kids so much, how did I fail with them?  I question this as the failure is all mine.

And then it happened, at work I was promoted to the point that I could no longer succeed.  I failed and I could no longer handle the pressure.  I crumpled and quit, willing to throw away a 20 year career.  The stress of trying to prove that I was worthy was too great.  I was a failure and now everyone knew it.

I stepped back; I examined my life, my hopes, my dreams, my own desires.

My mind wandered – researching, learning, soaking-up how to find myself again.  Reading, podcasts, journaling, meditating; all in hopes of rediscovering who I truly am.

I concluded that I had not been living an authentic life; that I had been living my life for others, to make them happy rather than myself.  Glimpses of my true self had poked through, straining to free itself from the cage I had placed it in – trying to appear “worthy” of those around me who wanted me to be someone else, someone different.

The times I had stood up for not only myself, but for the kids – to Flotsam, to Jetsam, and even to Hun.

The time I had insisted that I wasn’t ready for a promotion – knowing in my heart that it would lead to the failure it finally did.

Ignoring those around me, admonishing me that I cared too much for kids who didn’t return my feelings, telling me to give up – standing my ground and saying “no, I will not!”

It has startled me, in writing this post, to come to the realization that I have been an impostor.  That I have good reason to feel like one – because I am one.

I have been trying to be someone I’m not all this time.  I have failed at being Karaboo.

All this time, I have been ashamed of who others think I am, instead of embracing the greatness of me.

Yes, I am stubborn – but that also means that I am determined, persistent, steadfast, tenacious and tough.

I can be opinionated – but also confident, bold, courageous, undaunted and self-assured.

I tend to be judgmental – which is a combination of my intuition, awareness, experience, reasoning and understanding – and more often than not, my insights are correct.

Finally, I have been accused of being uncaring – they see the surface of my intensity and not my passion, dedication, and spirit.

People who know me are going to say I have changed.

They will be right.

The Importance of Self Respect

In my last post, I mentioned that I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately.  One of the podcasts I’ve been listening to is Sean Wes and his Lambo Goals.  My cousin turned me on to these podcasts and I’ve really enjoyed listening to both of them.

One of his free podcasts (since I started listening to these, he’s made most of the podcasts part of a paid subscription), is titled:  6 ways to develop self discipline.

As with most podcasts I listen to, they are just background noise to my daily drive.  I am absorbing most of what I’m listening to, I just am not listening actively as my mind tends to wander as subjects filter through.  I know people who would claim this isn’t how I should be listening to these podcasts – but it works for me and I’m not going to apologize for it!

The day I began listening to this particular podcast, was like any other day.  Half my concentration was on the road ahead of me, the rest was partly on what the podcast was talking about and partly my mind wandering through other subjects.

Until the 6th way was discussed – then all of a sudden, I was all ears and concentration:

  1. Understand the Importance of Self Respect
  • 34:13 Sean: If someone you respect asks you to do something, are you going to do it? Of course you are, you respect them! Now, what about yourself? What if you tell yourself that you’re going to do something, are you going to do it? If not, you’re lacking self respect. It’s actually a deeper issue than just self-discipline.
  • 34:47 Self-discipline is saying you’re going to do something and following through with it, regardless of whether it’s comfortable or not. If you’re willing to do that for someone you respect and you’re not willing to do it for yourself, that means you have a lack of self respect.

I have struggled with self-discipline for years.  People who know me would disagree wholeheartedly – but it is true.  The reason there is such a disconnect from what others see versus what I see is exactly this:

If I tell THEM that I am going to do something – I do it.  I am true to my word.

If I tell MYSELF that I am going to do something – odds are not very good that I will accomplish my goals.

Why?

Because I lack self-respect.

I do not respect myself like I should.

Why do I not respect myself?  I don’t have an easy answer for this question.

In the past couple of weeks, I have had three separate sources mention “Impostor Syndrome”.  I have learned that whenever something is mentioned in my life multiple times, I need to research it – so that’s what I’ve been doing.  It resonates with me, but it isn’t the answer to why I don’t respect myself.

This subject of self-respect is elusive.  Researching it brings up a few articles, but mostly it devolves back to self-esteem.

Which is tricky – because I believe I have plenty of self-esteem – but little self-respect.  How can that be?

I am confident in my abilities towards others, but I am not confident in my abilities towards myself.

Examples:

  • Work – we need you to organize, collate and update this report that is 7 years behind; make sense of it; and get us current to satisfy regulatory requirements.
    • Me – no problem! (spends 2 weeks solid researching, organizing, collating and updating the report; emailing affected parties and prepping next 3 months of action plans to get the report current; assembling a process checklist so that others can do the same work in months to come without the report getting behind again.)
  • Self – you need to get on that elliptical, walk as long as you can (5 minutes is fine!), 5 days a week to improve your health.
    • Me – problem – I don’t want to get up that early. I work better when there’s no one home.  I hate having to get dressed in one outfit, only to have to change into another just a short time later.  I’d rather play on Facebook, Pinterest, or Candy Crush than crush it on an elliptical.

Why am I like this?  What can I do to fix myself?

I’m still working on it.  Like I said in my prior post – I am my biggest life project.

Accomplished

I’ve been away a while.  I needed to be.  I needed to figure out what I wanted from my life and what I wanted to do with myself.

I’m still a wife and mother.  I still work.  I still have a home, bills and everything that comes with life.

I still have depression.  I am still searching for my own happy place.

I have been listening to podcasts more and more lately.  I switched jobs back in August 2016, which has lead to a longer commute (funny how 3 extra miles gained 20 extra minutes to my drive time).  These podcasts focus on productivity, time management, business, and simplicity.

Simplicity – it seems like such an easy thing to accomplish.  However, the reality is that it can be very elusive.

So, as I focus on simplicity, the theme that has come up more than anything is goals for the new year.  Resolutions have never really worked for me.  I wasn’t sure why, but one of the podcasts I listened to brought some clarity to me and I plan on exploring the thought process in depth in the near future.

So, if I cannot seem to make resolutions work for me, how can I set goals for myself for this year?  I turned my thoughts to my friend Kate.  Over the years, she has focused not on resolutions or goals, but mantras; usually one word mantras that define the focus for the year for her.  The first year I met her, her focus was “Saying Yes”.  Yes to those things that scared her, yes to going out, yes to whatever life threw her way – it brought her out of her comfort zone and led to a ton of personal growth.

So, how could I do the same thing for myself?

I focused on what mantra I wanted to go with.  The one word that kept coming to me in all of my thoughts, dreams and meditations was:

Finished

Finished?  Why would this word keep coming back to me?  I looked around me – at the unfinished projects, unfinished goals, unfinished dreams, unfinished plans – and realized that the word was pretty close to what I needed to do in my life.

But I rebelled against the word “finished”.  It sounds so final.  So defeatist.  So done.

I’m not done.  I have a ton of things that I want to do with my life.  Done is not what I am.  I am my own biggest life project and I’m not done!

So I looked up synonyms to the word finished – and one word stood out to me – Accomplished.

I have projects that I want to accomplish.

I have goals that I want to accomplish.

I have plans that I want to accomplish.

Some of these accomplishments are one and done.  Most of my accomplishments in life are lifetime projects – only steps of which are truly accomplished.

Writing out all of my projects, goals and dreams led me to a long list of items I want to accomplish.  Some of them are easy, some of them are important and some of them are pie-in-the-sky wishes.  But it led to clarity in what I not only need, but want, to accomplish this year.

Accomplished

That is my goal for the year – to accomplish what I set out for myself.  I have 4 goals that I want to accomplish:

  • Study for and pass my certification test
  • Complete my mom’s flamingo project
  • Assemble and finish LaLa’s graduation blanket (it’s only been 3 years!)
  • Complete the crochet blanket I started 17 years ago.

I am going to accomplish what I set out for myself.

I can do this.

Embracing My Personality

Over the years, I have done a lot of research on what type of personality I have.

It fascinates me and makes me wonder how much is accurate based on my own opinions, feelings and views.  I have taken the Myers Briggs Personality Test – both the formal and informal (i.e. free versions found online) multiple times and have been very consistent in my personality type:

Scores:

INTJ – 95% of the time

INFJ – 5% of the time

This means I have the following strong personality traits:

  • Introverted (I) – rather than extraverted (E)
  • Intuitive (N) – rather than sensing (S)
  • Thinking (T) – occasionally feeling (F) will make an appearance when I take the test – but rarely
  • Judging (J) – rather than perceiving (P)

Apparently, according to all of the websites I have visited, INTJ’s are the most rare personality type, making up only 2% of the population and as a woman INTJ, only 0.8% of the population.  Which means I’m pretty rare.

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What this means in general terms for me:

  • I prefer to be alone (introverted). I can be around others, but once I’ve hit my max, I CRAVE my alone time and will not be a very nice person if I don’t get time to decompress.
  • I follow my gut 90% of the time (intuition). This gut sense does take into account facts gathered and past experiences and I’m confident in my assessment in most situations most of the time.
  • I make most decisions based on facts and logic (thinking). If something isn’t logical, then don’t even try to BS me because I don’t have time for that.  Occasionally, my emotions will take over (I am a woman after all), and my feelings will rule – but it is almost always based on logical reasoning.
  • I make a plan, revise as necessary based on new information, and stick to it (judging). I hate to improvise unless my plan was planned in advance to allow for improvisation.  Example – don’t screw up my work day, it is planned and will frustrate me if something throws me off course.  But I can be totally relaxed and go with the flow when called for – like vacations: because vacations aren’t meant to be regimented (except in very specific instances – such as being on-time for a tour group).

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What this means for the people around me:

  • Me not wanting to be attached at the hip (to anyone) does not mean that I don’t like, love or care for you deeply. I DO have feelings and I DO take your feelings into consideration.  Since I say what I think and mean what I say, I expect the same from you.  If you do not tell me what you are thinking or feeling, then I can only guess based on my Intuition, which may be wrong since I have failed mind-reading class.
  • Speaking of Intuition – I can almost always tell when something is “off” with you. Maybe you’re having a bad day, maybe you have a secret that you’re struggling with, maybe you just found out you’re going to be a grandma – doesn’t matter, that intuition is almost always spot on correct.  If I’m asking “what’s wrong” – I do care about your answer and wouldn’t be asking if I didn’t want to know.  Usually, I’m trying to figure out how I can help you and genuinely WANT to help you.  If I don’t ask “what’s wrong”, then either I am unable to help you at that moment due to my own crazy life OR I don’t want to help you – 50/50 shot at either option.
    • Some people have been freaked out when I suddenly appear in their lives. I’ve shown up to too many places where people are genuinely surprised to see me because they’ve been thinking about me and/or wanted to talk with me, but didn’t make the time to contact me, for me to blow it off as coincidence.  What they don’t know is, almost always, I sense that they want to see me.  I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, wide awake, 10 minutes before an important text comes through.  I’ve walked in doors, to places I have no reason to be (other than sensing I need to be there), and greeted with, “I’m so glad to see you!  I’ve been thinking about you for 2 weeks!” – what they don’t know is, I’ve had the sense that they wanted to talk to me for that entire 2 weeks – I just didn’t make the time myself to go to them right away (I do have a life you know!).
  • Because I do my reasoning and thinking with logic, I can tell when what you’re telling me is nothing but BS and lies. Probably why I love Judge Judy so much – “If it doesn’t make sense, then it’s not the truth!”  Tell me the truth, all of the truth, and we’ll get along fine.  If you tell me partial truths, then be prepared for me to call you out on it.  I will know, and sense, and be severely disappointed in you that you feel this is a good course of action (which is to say NOTHING of how I feel about myself if I try to BS myself…..yes, I have done this, and yes, it wasn’t pretty in the end….soul crushing disappointment upon yourself is nothing to laugh at).
  • When I make plans with you, I expect you to follow through on whatever it is that we’ve agreed to. When you can’t follow through, tell me.  I can adapt and I can make alternate plans – just not if you won’t talk to me.

These memes are right on when it comes to me and how I think:

And lastly, how being an INTJ relates to me:

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There are days when I wish this roller-coaster ride called being a step-parent was over.

There are days when I wish it would never end.

One wish out-weighs the other, but not because of the kids.  Rather because the bio-parent in our lives makes things so much more difficult than they have to be.

Last night, Jetsam called a family meeting with all of her kids.  In the 15 years that I’ve been with my husband, this is the first time she’s done that.  It makes me slightly uneasy because something like this, based on past experiences, typically means that she is plotting something.

I shouldn’t let it bother me, but – also based on past history – whenever she’s plotting something, it always turns out negative for the kids; which in turn, turns out negative for Hun and me.

Just a few days ago, Jetsam attempted to press charges against me for abuse against Monkey.

That backfired on her because the police that came to investigate ended up filing a family violence report against Monkey for assaulting me the evening prior.  At Hun and mine’s request, we asked the officer to call Jetsam to explain the situation, as we knew she wouldn’t take our word for it.  I could overhear the policeman telling Jetsam over the phone, after explaining everything, “No ma’am, you cannot file charges against Karaboo because there is nothing to file charges against.  Monkey is the one in trouble because she assaulted Karaboo, not the other way around.”

Hun and I made sure that Monkey knew that the reason we didn’t allow her to call her mom on the night everything happened was because we were attempting to protect her.  We reiterated everything the police officer said, that if they (the police) had been called out that night (which Jetsam would have immediately done), Monkey would already be behind bars at the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC).  As it stood, now that her mom had called the police, there was still the possibility that she may go to JDC.  The report was now in the hands of the detectives and DA to decide if they wanted to press charges and go forward.

I was asked and I declined to write a formal statement for the family violence report.  In my discussions with Hun, my opinion was that I did not want my name formally on anything associated with this report.  I did not want Jetsam or her family to point to my signature and say, “SEE!!  Karaboo is DIRECTLY responsible for what happened to you Monkey!  NOTHING would have happened to you if she had not written that statement!”

It doesn’t matter.  They will blame me anyway.  No matter what the outcome is.  They will absolve themselves and Monkey of any responsibility.

Monkey acts like this entire incident is no big deal.

She acts like her mom is going to protect her and not allow anything to happen to her.

My question to Monkey is – if the person you have put your trust into has lied to you in the past, failed to follow through on promises and cannot take care of herself without assistance from those around her – what makes Monkey think she’ll come through for her now?

Maybe she ought to re-think who she’s placed her trust in.

Which is really sad and makes me cry to think about.  You’re supposed to be able to trust your mom.  You’re supposed to be able to trust your dad.  When that trust is broken, it affects all areas of your life.

I suspect that Jetsam’s next step is to contact Child Protective Services (CPS) against Hun and me since the police were of no help to her.  I’m not sure why I suspect this, but it would be the next “logical” step in her mind.  She’ll do anything to show that we are abusive, as she’s been claiming for all of these years.

I won’t be surprised to get a knock on the door and a CPS worker is standing there asking to come in.  It might surprise Monkey and Jetsam that I will not hesitate to let them in.  Hun and I have done nothing wrong.  We have nothing to hide.

My only fear/wish is that if that knock comes my house is actually clean the way I like it to be cleaned.

Let The Journey Begin

I am about to embark on a very exciting journey!

I have decided to open up my own business.  I have the general idea in place and am currently working through a lot of the planning stages of a venture such as this.

I’ve never owned my own business.

I have no idea what to do, where to start, or what to expect.

But that’s okay, because I’m not the first person to take on this adventure.  Others have gone before me and have paved the way.  I have countless blog posts saved for aspects of this business idea that I haven’t even thought about yet.

Everything points to starting with a business plan.

Plan?  Like in lists?  And expectations?  And getting down to the nitty-gritty details?

AWESOME!

I LOVE planning!  I LOVE making lists!  I LOVE details!

I don’t love not knowing what I’m doing.  Sigh.

That’s okay – these road blocks, speed-bumps and detours are not negatives at all.  They are there to make sure that I am considering all angles and my business will have the best chance for success!

Every negative that has been thrown at me so far has been nothing but another bullet point on my planning list to explore, learn about and incorporate into my business plan.

Will I be successful?

I have no idea.

Will I regret not trying?

Yes!

Will I include everyone in on my journey?

You betcha!