Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Un-common sense

It's my spring break, but you certainly wouldn't know it. I'm working 10 hour days, and working on all those household projects and chores we put off. If that wasn't enough, I have an article to write (due TONIGHT) on the history of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. Spring break really just means more free time to do more things!

So today, to help keep myself motivated after a tough, action packed weekend, I picked up my ipod and dialed up the usual latest Disney podcasts. While that always helps boost my mood, it doesn't necessarily help with motivation for work or some of the heaiver issues in life I've been faced with of late. I mix things up and dail up an old audio book that I absolutely love. "The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

It's a little over 4 hours long, so it should help keep me on track for the rest of my day 10 hour day. It always builds me up and makes me think of the "uncommon sense" that all of us seem to lose sight of.

In so many ways, Randy reminds me of myself. Listening to this always reminds me that my logical approach to life is not so odd. I'm no "Spock", but I tend to look at problems as an engineering issue - something to be overcome and resolved. In that way, I don't resemble most of my fellow artists who tend to focus on expressing their feelings over resolving an issue. Maybe it's what helps keep me grounded (and not starving)? Either way, I owe it to my parents and I'm forever grateful for the gift of balance.

One thing that Randy talks about is the day he was told that the fight for his life was ending, and the comfort care began. The nurse hadn't logged off the computer showing his medical records, so Randy poked around on it while waiting for the doctor. There he found the lab values and tumor imaging that proved the fight phase was over. He and his wife were (completely understandably) devasted by the news. As he puts it, "In my inability to stop being rationally focused, I realized there was no box of tissue in the room. Shouldn't a room like this, at a time like this, at least have box of tissues?"

While the moment is heartbreaking, it makes me smile a bit as well. And those that know me know why...

That's exactly the type of thing I would have noticed. ;)

Sometimes life isn't about the mountains we move or the desitations we reach. It's about the climb.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Me?! A Mom?!

(Me and Gerber Baby)

If you would have told me in high school that I'd ever want to be a parent,I probably would have treated you like you had the plague.

If you had told me in my early 20's that I'd consider family life, I'd still have laughed you out of town.

But around 25 years old, it hit. With the help of the man I was with at the time, I began to picture myself being part of a family.

Probably not your typical family though. I have no designs on being a stay-at-home domestic goddess. I have a picture of traveling the world, with a baby on my back and my husband right there with me. I can't blame this "unconventional" family ideal on my upbringing. We did a little globe trotting, but not the degree I hope to in the future.

My family has been fairly conventional, aside from not being biologically related to any of the people I grew up with. They are still "Mom" and "Dad" and "Brother" and always will be, despite what DNA may say. I find that as I grow older, I find myself facinated by that "new family" smell that many of my friends are living in. It's a completely alien concept to me, but a beautiful, wonderous one none the less.

Saturday, I got reminded that "Hey, I can do this," as I spent some time with Gerber Baby. (If you've read my blog long enough, you'll realize that I prefer nicknames for blogspot. You all know who you are.) While his parents got a short break from Gerber baby, I watched him for a while.

That said - I am a LONG time out of baby sitting anyone I couldn't reason with. So this was a new challenge.Thankfully, Gerber Baby is probably the easiest kid on the face of the planet. At first, I was tenative, but after sharing a ride on Winnie the Pooh's ride and riding "topside" (that's where he is sitting on my shoulders, for those that don't speak Munderloh) for a while, I realized, "Hey, this is actually pretty fun." Maybe because it gave me an excuse to be a kid again myself. Maybe this is a little tiny taste of the fulfilling feeling parents get as they play with their kids and teach them things?

Granted, parenting is a very different bag from simply babysitting for a few hours. But I guess it helped build my confidence. There is no real manual to parenting. Kids don't come with an instruction manual. I think adoptive parents have a particular challenge because we adoptees are DEFINATELY our own people. We don't resemble the people who come to love us as "Mom" and "Dad", but we are definatley driven to be our own people.

The affirmation that no young child will perish under my watch felt great. But one step further, I may have something to offer the next generation, amazed me. It's easy to feel like I'm sitting on the other side of the world from experiencing all that for myself; I mean, the closet I have to that kind of bond is, well, me and my dog (which is COMPLETELY different, but he's the only dependent, somewhat trainable life form depending on me). Afterall, I'm divorced (and not willing to have a child out of wedlock - just a personal decision) and there is no ring on my finger. I am a family of one. And right now, that's okay. It's as it's supposed to be.

Anyway, it was a great experience. It always feels great to have a part of the heart dusted off and awakened.

Weddings - a singular perspective

Wedding Bouquet

Most little girls dream about their wedding. I rarely had any ideas about mine. Oh I loved formal dresses and fairy tales, but I didn't have many designs for my "perfect wedding" or my "perfect husband" as a child. I was much too busy singing, writing poetry, playing sports - ya know, living life. I wasn't too caught up in being an adult.

But like any other girl, I will admit that I am a stone cold romantic in just about every sense of the term. Hopelessly, incurably romantic. That's me (and trust me - I TRIED to cure myself of it many times). I'm a sucker for thoughtful and creative gestures. I always dreamed about finding that "one" - the love of my life. Someone who would feel I was the love of his life with equal passion, fervor, and desire to show it. As some have said, "Love is friendship that caught fire."

From my adult perspective, I find I look for that in the every day more and more. And I find it at weddings...

Not all weddings, but those weddings...

If you've never been to a wedding solo, then you can't know what I mean. That's not to be offended to anyone who is married, but when married people attend weddings, they usually think of their own. Since I've been unmarried for some time now, I've attended several weddings. I no longer think of my own. In fact, I don't think of myself at all... I think of the groom.

I can't say I'm one of those "ideal" wedding guests. I don't eat much. I don't over drink. I generally avoid dancing as a rule, and I have yet to DIVE for a bouqet despite the fact that they've been throw pretty much been hurled right at me twice. I won't go so far as to say that these women are trying to tell me something...

But I digress... those weddings...

You can always tell which "those" weddings are... because you look at the groom. Even if I've never met him before, I like to watch him. Not during the ceremony, especially. (And most certainly not because I'm scoping him out.) I like to watch him when his new wife is away from him at the reception. While she's out, giggling with friends and being social, or posing away from him for some photos, and he's watching his bride - that look says it all.

It's usually not subtle. It can't be. If it were subtle, I would wonder if the groom's pride or fear would, at some point, overcome his love. But that kind of love and devotion like that knows no pride and sees no reason to hide - on that day of all days. The observant viewer need not know the groom well see it. It's a look in his eyes that he is now the happiest man on the planet. Most brides are I've seen are usually bubbly and overjoyed (or over compensating for nerves rather well). Grooms tend to be more reserved. But that new-found security, ripened joy, intoxicating love, and passionate devotion can not be hidden.

It can be a simple backyard ceremony, or a more elaborate, formal affair. The setting doesn't matter. What matters, everything that matters, is right there, in his eyes.

What brought this blog on?
Well, this Saturday I was honored to be the guest at one of those weddings. Yes, I always consider myself honored to be invited into the presence of that kind of love.

So here is a photographic tribute to Electric Smile and Wonder Tanner.
May your life be filled with moments such as like these.


The new Tanner Family

Father daughter dance

Reception setting (the ceremony was held in a local Mormon Temple)

Cake...made by the bride's grandmother (and it tasted AMAZING - as a side note)
Cake again

Cake topper close up (it was made of clay, so the bride and groom can keep it - what a great mantle peice)

A couple of guests having fun -

Thank you to anyone who's ever invited me to their wedding. In the end, at least to this guest, it's not about the venue, the food, the chair covers, the decorations, or the dj. The things I will alway remember can't be reserved with a credit card. They can only be birthed with time, love, tenderness, patience, understanding, acceptance, respect, and hope.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rough and Tumble Gals- For Dummies

(This blog is inspired by an e-mail I sent to Computer Guy recently!)

What is a rough and tumble woman?

She may not stand out too much on the every-day crowd.

She's a hard worker.

Her heart is tough, but not hard.

She's simple. She loves what she loves. She hates what she hates, and she stays open minded to everything else inbetween.

She's not the best housekeeper. (She'd rather be living life than doing dishes.)

She has a good sense of humor about herself, but hates poking fun at others.

She can do things on her own, or with friends and loved ones. This can make her seem impatient, but she doesn't want life to pass her by.

She's secure in her boundaries. She's only insecure when she doesn't feel she has something to offer. This is when she needs to be reminded of what she does have to offer that is unique.

She doesn't think sweat is unlady like.

She can enjoy a sporting event in a bar with a beer. But she'd rather be playing said sport w/ gusto!

She dresses for any occasion. Just because she doesn't regularly spend hours in front of the mirror primping every day - doesn't mean she isn't fully capable of dressing for the occasion. Note, the examples below:
Mountain biking trip - appropriate gear worn (shorts, thick socks, tennis shoes, a free Padres shirt that's several years old, gloves, a free messanger bag, and helmet)
After the accident...
A night out on the town - appropriate gear worn (little black dress jewlery, and high shoes)
A day at the theme park - Appropriate gear worn (Jeans, t-shirt, walking shoes)
Me and Lightening McQueen!

She's a woman who'd rather be known for who she is, than what she owns, or what she wears.

She'd rather have a love letter or a simple, thoughtful gift, than all the jewels in the world.

She's a free spirit and will become resentful if she feels caged.

She's a giver.

She's naturally inclined to solve her own problems before asking for help. (So if she asks, she really NEEDS it, and really feels like she can count on you not to turn her down.)

She pushes herself to be good at everything she attempts.

She's passionate and values those who feed passion in their lives.

She knows she is perfectly capable of taking care of, and looking out for herself, but secretly wants to be taken care of as well.

She's both a servant and a leader.

She respects people who can stand up to her, but expects them to pick their fights carefully.

She's quick to apologize and slow to infuriate.

She doesn't like to advertise her vunerabilities. When she expresses these, tread carefully, for you are in the innermost parts of her heart and capable of assisting with great healing, or deeply scarring damage.

She'd loves to adventure and explore, but loves even more to share it with someone equally minded.

She notices when her needs are considered a priority to someone else.

She's stubborn.

She loves hard.

She is faithful.

She chooses to see the best in things and the hope in hopeless situations.

There may not be an obvious way to her heart - but there are many roads that lead to it to those who dare the journey. What you find at the end will be worth the wait.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Making peace with OT

After a bit of a discussion with the powers-that-be today at work, we came to an amicable decision. Here's the deal- work solid overtime for next next couple weeks, and the first week in April they will take us off OT and "re-evaluate" their need for additional staff. Okay. Deal. So during my spring break, I'll be hammering the OT. Of course, I hope my brother's jacuzzi is up and running by then, because I may just be living in it so I can feel like I did SOMETHING fun while I was off school for a week.

This week should prove to be pretty busy, but those who know me know that's the way I like it. Plenty of time with friends and family - and a Disneyland trip on Sunday to boot! Yes, I am working on getting the Disney blog up and running. In fact, if I finish my homework tonight, that will be a great project.

For those of you following my wellness blog, my legs have definately found the "rainbow connection"! I really did a number on them during a fall from my mountain bike on Sunday. I ate - hard. The bruises are still popping up. Those I can handle - now if only the stiffness would go away!

Well, I better get back to work. Get ready for the launching of the Disney blog this week!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Down right mad...

Alright - this blog isn't philosophical. It's just a rant. So, my dear readers, consider yourselves warned!

My company is great. I get to come to work in whatever I want pretty much. Gym clothes, jeans, you name it. It's located in a beautiful place in southern california, just a few miles away from one of my favorite beaches. It's a large office space with big windows all over, so we can see the sunshine outside, rather than the many other "dungeon" style offices I've worked at before.

All of that said, we are growing... FAST... in my humble opinion, TOO FAST. Employees are working 6 day weeks and over time almost every day. We have more work than we have employees and we've expanded to the point that no one else can fit in the building (yet they are reluctant to let us work from home). So what's the solution?

Just have the people you have work for you, WORK HARDER and LONGER!

Yes, the overtime is GREAT! Don't get me wrong. It's kinda funny to think of paying off my Disneyworld vacation LONG before I even book my airfare, but it's really burning me out.

What really chapped my hide was this: One of my bosses announces to us that we have an indefinate length of overtime. She can't say it's Mandatory, but it's pretty obvious you'll be treated like a 2nd class citizen if you choose not to let the company eat your schedule alive. However, during this schpeel, she turned toward a gal who had been back from Maternity leave for about a month and said, "Of course, I don't expect any overtime from you. You have a new born at home, so don't worry about it. This doesn't apply to you, but for everybody else, we want every hour you can give us."

This obviously implies "Those who don't have families," (insert-single-people-like-me) "are expected to let us become your entire life. But if you've had kids, you're in the clear." THAT is what kills me!

So I'm steaming and thinking about how IMPOSSIBLE it is to get all the work they've thrown at us done... not to mention being reminded once again that I am not a parent (furkid not withstanding) and that I'm not getting any younger. Gr! It's all terribly frustrating, but the thing that hurt my heart the most? That was something completely different.

I looked around the room and realized that each of these people had someone to go home to. Be it a child, family, spouse, etc... but me? Well, there's a four legged boxer boy waiting on me, but that's about it. He's soothing in his own way, but not in the same way as someone with skin on instead of fur.

So, in being vulnerable here on the blog-o-sphere - I have to admit, there is one thing in this world that would make it all worth it for me. One thing that would help me very happily get through all this overtime and relieve a TON of stress. It's some help. A partner. A soft place to land when I come home from an exceedingly long and hard day... Someone to help with the housework and the regular day to day life stuff... Someone to laugh with...

But for now, "It is what it is."

It will get better. It's only a matter of time.
For those of you who have this to come home to - really appreicate it today, for all of us single folks out there who don't get to -at least, not yet.

(In the mean time... I may just end up in Disneyland once a week to decompress!)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Conflict in Relationships

This, I will admit, is my weak point. I love to please the person that I'm with and have avoided confrontations. Sometimes this is okay. There is a certain wisdom to picking your battles. Sometimes, it's not, but I'd like to think that over the past handful of years, I've gotten much better at communicating and conquering that fear of "conflict".

I didn't live in a house with a lot of conflict. Watching my brother and my mom debate practically became a sport in my house over the years. My dad and I, the "quiet ones", would just look at each other and roll our eyes. My parents had that usual "backseat driver" bicker session but it rarely turned into more than that. In fact, even when we hit financial rock bottom, I don't think I ever saw my parents in a knock-down-drag-out fight over anything.

So in my relationships, I like to keep the peace as much as possible. Who wouldn't rather enjoy their relationship and thier partner rather than fight with them anyway? That doesn't mean all conflict and (or should) be avoided. But it does mean that I try to keep unneccessary conflict at a minimum.

Now, all that said, I didn't have much experience fighting. My ex and I had rules about "fighting fair" that I still believe are good and healthy to this day. They included things like: No name calling, No foul language, No yelling, No interupting, No voilent behavior. In other words, our rules for fighting made us sit down and talk about the conflict. Usually, this quelled things without them getting out of control. (Yes, we are ex's, but fighting wasn't the reason we didn't work out.)

Friends who have known me most of my life know that one thing has stood true. I won't put my foot down about something without good reason and the stubbornness to back it up. Boundaries are necessary for all beings. Even Biblically speaking, boundaries and accountability have been part of the world since day one.

So how do you overcome those conflicts?

I found a great article on it, and one thing stems through the whole article - communicate carefully.

I think we've all done the "passive agressive", "revenge", and "silent treatment" strategies. None of these really increase communication or solve the problem. In fact, they curtail the very thing necessary to come to an agreement (or agreeing to disagree) and resolving the conflict.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Celebrating The Wall

So what, exactly, are the pitfalls of being a "go-go-go" type of person?

There are several, and some of them are very challenging indeed, not the least of which is slipping away from those that can't keep the pace, but tonight, I'd like to introduce you - my dear readers - to a phenomon called "The Wall". It's somewhere between frustration, exhaustion, and complete burn out. It's occasionally accompanied by sickness (the common cold), but usually it's just exhaustion and the desperate need to be a hermit.

Tonight, it's not about sickness. But it is about a little run in with my good friend "The Wall". Work has run me ragged and following my passions, well, requires a LOT of energy. So tonight I'm celebrating - hermit style.

I admit, tonight I am not completely "hermit style". I'll be snuggling up to an Aladdin (or other movie marathon) with my four legged furkid, Clydas. Since I have a free night and a few minor victories to celebrate, I might as well do something...productive with it! Uh oh. There goes that "go-go-go" again!

I'll be "relaxing" tonight, with my good friend "The Wall" by working out at home, returning some movies (possibly renting a few more), reading, and mailing my rent check.

Still looking forward to relaxing. When I'm done with all that... ;)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tall Girl Insecurities

A simple blog about heels brought me to realize that I'm a pretty tall chick. Though I really have a hard time as seeing myself as a tall, leggy blond.

See, I grew up in a house with a dad who is 6'4" and a mom who was about 5'8" at her tallest. (Since then, age has slightly shrunk both of them.) My dad, with his head of white hair and his size, has always been viewed as a "distinguished gentleman". My mom has always been a business powerhouse best known as "the red head". ("So, where did the blond chick come in?" I'm adopted, but that's beside the point, for now. We're talking "nurture", not "nature" for this blog.)

So in my house hold, topping out somewhere around 5'8"ish, I never considered myself "tall". I'm not sure why. The world has always treated me "tall". I was the kid usually in the back of the group pictures. I have lost roles on stage due to my height and the "American Dream" - you know, when you see a couple on stage he is ALWAYS taller than she is. However, I did inherit my mom's "powerhouse" business reputation. I work hard at where ever I am put and love to research and learn more, even if the subject matter isn't one I particularly enjoy. The act of researching and having information and "knowing things" makes me feel special I guess...

But I digress...

All that said, how has my height effected my love life?

Well, I wore jazz shoes in my first wedding - partly for comfort and partly to avoid being taller than my then-groom, who was only about an inch (if that) taller than me.

My current boyfriend wasn't interested in me at first because I was "tall". Granted, the first time he met me was backstage in a show where I was wearing 2 inch heels. With heels like that on, I am nearly eye level with him. (Imagine his surprise when I wore my favorite hiking boots to our first date and only came up to his chest!)

In between them, I did go out on a couple dates with a fellow who was shorter than me. At first, I was nervous, but when I saw that their height didn't bother them I was immediately comfortable with them. Notice, I didn't feel my height was the problem.

Growing up, I was always picked for things like basketball and volleyball.

Yet - I still don't think of myself as "tall". Afterall, the entire family I grew up in is taller than me!

6 foot - now THAT is tall, but meesly little me? Nah. Yet, I avoided wearing heels on many occasions so as not to dwarf my date... but they never asked me to. I just thought they "should" be taller than me. At least, I thought that as a child.

Isn't it amazing how you grow up and grow into yourself a bit? In the end, short or tall, I'll wear heels when I feel like it. As I near 30, it's as if some switch has flipped and I learn to accept myself more and more every day. As for the prince-charming who gets to ride off into the sunset with me? Well, he'll just have to love having a tall woman on his arm - wether I dwarf him on special occasions or not. ;)