Friday, February 27, 2015

Don't Worry. Add to Your Happy

I've been failing at blogging.  I understand this.  I apologize for it.  I don't know if that is because I spend about two hours in the car a day and that is that time that I would typically spend blogging or if I just don't have anything to blog about. I've been mulling over today's blog all week and I'm still not sure I have to words to get across my point.

I had a biopsy on a lump in my neck on Monday.  The lump has been there for months.  I went and saw my favorite doctor in Olympia.  It freaked him out, which freaked me out and he did a biopsy.  Which essentially means he stuck four needles in the lump and took out chunks and fluid to be tested.

First off, if you have never had a needle biopsy (I had one previously on my thyroid so I knew what to expect) they aren't nearly as bad as they sound.  They aren't comfortable but they aren't horrible either.  I will say that having a needle in your neck is disconcerting, regardless of whether it hurts or not. Second, biopsies are disconcerting in general. There's also the fact that this particular doctor is pretty laid back so when he decides to stick a needle in my neck it freaks me out.

So he calls me on Wednesday and immediately tells me that I don't have cancer. So that's awesome.  No. Really. It's awesome. Now that I think about it maybe I should have lead with that.

Anyway, that means that I had 36 hours to come up with every possible horrible scenario possible.  The second someone does a test to check for cancer your brain goes haywire (unless it's a pap and then you don't even think about it because you've been doing it since you were 13).  I started thinking about the short term disability that I elected this year with my benefits.  I started thinking about how much life insurance I have.  I started wondering what the life expectancy was for someone who has lymphoma.

I also stared analyzing my day to day life.  I have never been more annoyed at my two hour commute than I was on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.  How much of my life should I be expected to waste in the car?  My job is a necessary evil, even if I did have cancer.  But is my waste of life commute?

I was thinking the same thing about the people I interact with daily, or don't interact with as the case may be.  Who would I wish I had spent more time with?  What regrets would I have?

All of my worrying and questioning was for naught when Dr Shannon called to let me know that everything came back okay.

I guess the whole point to this is that maybe all of those questions that go around and around in our heads when were worried that we might be dying are the things that we should focus on daily when we're caught up in our lives. Don't end up 32 or 50 or 70 with regrets and should haves. Add to your happy.

Friday, February 13, 2015

I'm Not #Dramtic. I'm #Sensitive. Okay, Maybe I'm Both.

I have been spinning a blog centered around this photo in my brain for weeks.  This is me.  I am super intense, I feel everything.

I've always been pretty sensitive.  I get embarassed easily.  I won't work out or do physical activities in front of other people.  I don't like critisism and I don't like to be made fun of, even in jest.  I take every single little observation about myself personally.  I have a hard time making decisions because I like to weigh all the pros and cons, think about how others feel and then decide.

I am sensitive and it's always pissed me off.

I've always wanted to be the person that doesn't care what other people think of me.  That person that doesn't care if I run like Phoebe from friends. I'm going to run anyway (I don't but it doesn't matter if I look perfectly normal running I'm not going to do it because someone might see me). Dancing falls into this same category, I might know what to do with my arms just fine, but just in case I don't... I'm just going to dance when I'm alone in my kitchen thank you.

I wish that I didn't have to have the "go cry in the bathroom" motto because I can cry at the drop of a hat and am embarassed to do it in front of anyone.

I wish I didn't remember every critisism from every fight I've ever had.

I wish it wasn't super hard to even write this blog due to a single argument about it one time with one person.

I wish that other peoples feelings and reactions didn't effect me in such a strong way.

I wish that I didn't feel confrontation in such an intense way that I avoid it at all costs.  Even if it means holding in feelings and compromising just to avoid them.

It turns out that being highly sensitive is a thing.  I haven't quite figured out yet if it is a thing like my OCD, which is not in any way extreme or medically diagnosed. Or if it is a legitimate thing.  It all started when I found this article about being the sensitive one in the relationship.  I was like, wait, what?  That's a thing?  Then I started doing a little more research and came across this Huffington Post article titled 16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People and I was shocked.  It epitomized my personality.  Well, except the part about violent movies,.. I don't have an issue with that.  I have a much larger issue with emotionally charged movies.  Anyway,  I then found an article in Psychology Today that states:

"Being highly sensitive basically means that you have heightened sensory awareness. You notice things, both consciously and unconsciously, that affect the five senses more than most people. Lights are brighter, traffic is louder, that wool sweater your mother knitted is itchy, and I mean, really itchy! You find yourself hiding out in the bathroom at parties without really knowing why, until you realise how much calmer you feel when you're away from all the crowds. Experts are still trying to determine what exactly makes some of us more sensitive than others and how it all works, but it has something to do with your central nervous system. Basically, HSPs tend to absorb more information from their environment than other folks, making the world an often highly overstimulating place. I usually describe it as living life with no skin, my nerve endings exposed and feeling every whisper of information around me."

The thing is that if I wasn't the sensitive person that I am I wouldn't be in tune and sympathetic to other peoples feelings.

If I was insensitive and able to just say that I don't give a fuck I wouldn't be me.  And even though it might be easier on my emotions, and heck, the people around me who try and figure out my emotions, I would be a completely different person that I'm not sure I would like.

I pride myself on the fact that I remember every important date ever.

I love that people call me "Mom" because I look out for everyone and make sure that everyone is taken care of.

I wouldn't be able to sympathize and empathize to the extent that I can.

I wouldn't love as hard and with everything that I have.

I wouldn't have that intuition that tells me when someing is off or wrong with a person or a situation.

So I guess I'm going to try and not hate my sensitivity so much.  Even if being highly sensitive is just something that a group of people made up to justify their feelings, at least I know I'm not the only one,

Excuse me while I go cry over the fact that my 11 year old just gave his crush a Valentine's gift... I'm feeling a little emotional about it.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Be Happy With What You Have

The other day Josh and I were talking about what would have happened if we had stayed together back when we were young.  I commented that I thought that he would have, in his 15 year old brain, been content to hit it and quit it and we would have never ended up together long term.  He didn't agree with me, which was nice and made me feel bad about my cynicism.  I kept thinking about how that situation would have turned out.  Would I have been happy only having ever been with one person?  Would I have been content committing myself to one person literally FOREVER?  Would I have felt cheated that I didn't get to explore who I was without him?  The answer to all of those questions is that I probably would have.  But then I started to ask myself why. 

My maternal grandparents are in their 80's and have been together since my grandmother was 13. She had her first child at 14 and continued to have five more throughout the years.  I am certain that my grandparents have not always liked each other. They have not always wanted to be together.  I'm sure that there were weeks that my grandmother was SO happy when my grandpa left on Sundays for his out of town work, even if he was leaving her with all those kids, just so he would get out of her space. The thing is that they do have is loyalty.  They have a sense of commitment that you can't find today. They stuck it out no matter what happened. And now, 70 years later, they are still together. 

My Grandparents, quite a few years ago, with their Great Grandchildren

That's something that people don't do anymore.  Society is always reaching for the next goal, the next level.  There is always a constant "What if".  I read a statistic the other day that more kids live in households with step-parents than with both of their real parents.  Obviously, I don't get to speak out against divorce.  I've done it.  Twice. But how sad is it that we have become a society of people who are always looking for something better?

Hindsight is 20/20 and it's happy to think that if we had been a little smarter back in the day we would have been able to stick it out for the long haul.  I know that the experience of 32 years and 2 divorces (not to even speak of the numerous other failed relationships) have prepared me to be happy now.  To know that it's way more important to resolve issues and figure them out then give up and walk away. To think in the happy part of my brain that the reason it didn't work out when we were younger is so that we could grow and learn so that it could work out now.  I know that the grass is greener where you water it.  But it took all of those other stupid experiences to come to that realization.  

What if we were all just happy with what we have when we have it?  What if we weren't always looking for the next best thing, not necessarily just in relationships, but in life? What if we realized that more isn't always better?  I think that we would all be a whole lot happier. And we would probably realize who we're supposed to be with the first time, instead of 18 years later. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I'm Singing the Winter Blues #wintersucks #wheresthesun

We've all learned by now how I feel about the Winter. And the cold. And the rain. And the grey. And the dark. If you don't know all you have to do is look at the many different blogs that I have written in the past year and a half about the topic.  What it comes down to is that I'm just not a fan of any weather that isn't sunshine.  

Just to add some bi-polar to this blog. As much as I don't like the fall, winter or half of spring in the Pacific Northwest.  I kind of feel like I got cheated this year.  Weird I know.  It's January 6th and it was almost 50 degrees outside, there hasn't been any snow this year.  And it doesn't look like there is going to be.  The thing about snow is that at least there is a break in the rain and grey monotony. Plus, you get to have a little bit of fun in the snow, after you get done worrying about how to get to work/get kids to school/ get out of work/ keep kids home. Plus snow means that you got to have winter.  My favorite snow is the snow that you just wake up to in the morning.  Where everything is clean and white and smooth and bright and it's a surprise. Maybe that's why I like snow, it's bright like the sun, when you can't have the sun. 

I also feel like the snow is something that you can look forward to when there isn't a whole lot else to look forward to after Christmas. Someone, ages ago, decided that during the months of endless darkness, when the light is gone, we get to have holidays.  First Halloween, just when it's starting, then Thanksgiving, when you're as annoyed as you can be with the dark and grey.  Then we're distracted by Christmas and New Years when the darkness is absolutely at it's worst.  But what then? 
Then you have the cold dark of January, with nothing to look forward to except Spring.  February isn't much better, Valentines Day, in the cold and dark I suppose. March it's getting better, there's more light, but there is still the incessant rain, which continues right on through May. Spring starts in May, I love May.  

So, I guess what I have discovered is that although I hate the grey and the cold and the rain, what I really hate is the fact that there isn't anything really exciting to look forward to until May when you can start spending time outside again. Which is probably why this is the time of year I'm always looking for a project, or a change of some kind.  In the past two years I have started at a new property in January, this year I did it a little early in October.  This is also the time of year that I want to plan a trip, or fifty.  I love leaving town in February, because by February I feel like I'm going insane in the dark rain. 

I found the word vorfreude while I was searching for pictures for this blog. Which is the joy that come from imaging future pleasures.  Ah, future pleasures.  I'm a planner, we all know that. I want to plan to be someplace warm, and sunny.  I want to plan for things to happen that will end the monotony of the day in day out darkness. A trip. A new venture. A new hobby.  Another trip.  That's what gets me through winter. 

I know that I'll make it through the Winter.  I have made it successfully through 32 Pacific Northwest Winters.  And I'm sure I'll make it through a few more.  In the mean time I'll fill myself with vorfreude by planning for the Winter, years in the future, that I won't have to spend the October through May wishing for sun, because I'll already be in it.