Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happy Birthday, P!

 I am not sure that P has ever really won an argument with me.  I'm quite certain that he has never gotten the last word.  I am the queen of getting the last word.

Well friends, that all changed last weekend.  P and I were celebrating his birthday by drinking some wine (of course, we were - why wouldn't we?).  We were starting to make dinner and P was being a little silly and a little annoying (his trademark behaviors, by the way).  I can't even remember what exactly we were arguing about, but I think it had something to do with water.  Yes, we actually can argue about absolutely anything (or absolutely nothing, depending on how you look at it).  Give us any topic - I dare you - and I am confident we will find a way to be on opposing sides.  And if you think your topic is not debatable, well ha!  You definitely underestimate us.

Anyway, on Saturday night, P said and/or did something that was totally off the wall (as usual) and I made the mistake of trying to provide a rationale explanation for why he just wasn't correct.  P looked at me and said, "Hey, at least you live in America."  And I...had nothing.  I mean, how do you argue that point without sounding like a complete a-hole?  I mean he's right, I do live in America.  All I could do was look at him, stunned.  I had no comeback. 

And that is how, after 11 years, P won his first argument with me.  But I didn't even feel that bad about it.  Come on now, how could I feel bad?  It was P's birthday.  And hey, at least I live in America.

Yes, that's a mocha with an extra shot.  Our mutual love for coffee and chocolate is what keeps our marriage strong (and come to think of it, all that caffeine might have something to do with our quarrelsome ways).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Just because you are in your thirties does not mean "you know what you want to be when you grow up".  And it definitely doesn't mean that you are who you always wanted to be.  I'm not necessarily talking about your career choice.  I'm talking about the kind of person you are.

There is a reoccurring theme when I write.  A few months ago I tried taking a personality test and I kept getting mixed results.  This reminds me - I need to take that test again.  

When people ask me who I am, I state the roles that I play in my life.  Wife.  Daughter.  Friend.  My profession.  But who am I?  What kind of person am I?  I realized very recently that I don't know.  Seriously, I don't know who I am.  I don't have a freaking clue.  This is terrifying.  Who the hell am I?  What are my passions in life?  What excites me and makes me feel alive?  The fact that I can't answer these questions without pausing to think (and if I am really honest, I am actually racking my brain trying to come up with a good answer), tells me that I either don't pay attention to myself or I haven't found these things in my life yet.  Both of these possibilities are scary.

Maybe I am going through a pre-midlife crisis.  Maybe I am thinking more more deeply because it's a new year or because I recently celebrated a birthday (that's right, I am now one more year deeper into my thirties - before you know it, I will be writing about my post-40 life). 

As terrifying as this all is, I am determined to figure this out.  I'm tired of being who I think others want me to be.  I am tired of doing the things others think I should be doing.  And I'm tired of doing the things that even I think I should be doing.  I have always chosen responsibility over passion and practicality over dreams.  I have lived most of my life in my head - overthinking every aspect.  I want to feel for a change.  I want to do the things that thrill me, bring me happiness and laughter, give me butterflies - the good kind when you are about to experience something amazing.  Why can't that something just be life?  I want to live my life passionately

The time is now.  It's time for fresh starts and new beginnings.  It's time to find that spark and Shine

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Just because you are in your 30s...

Last week, I wrote about how "Just because you are in your thirties does not mean you can't party like a rock star."

Today, I will start my post with this:  Just because you are in your thirties does not mean you know how to clean your house. 

I know that many people don't like to clean and choose not to clean, but I don't believe I am your average person.  My problem is that I really don't know how to clean...without disinfecting.  Here's the real dilemma:  I have a fear of cancer-causing toxic chemicals and so disinfecting safely without (1) contaminating the house with poison that will eventually kill me, my husband, and my pets AND (2) spreading some type of germ, bacteria, or virus all around my house, is quite the challenge.  This is my Everest.  

Let me paint you a picture of me attempting to clean...

One minute I am innocently wiping down the kitchen counter and the next minute I have gone through 10 dishcloths (because using a dishcloth that cleaned one mess would result in contaminating the entire kitchen), my hands are bleeding because I washed them about 45 times over a 15-minute period (an average of about three hand-washings per minute sounds about right - again, all in the name of preventing cross-contamination), and I have gone through about three rolls of paper towel (because all of the dishtowels are soaked from all of my hand-drying and after some serious thought, are my hands actually still clean after I dry them on a dishtowel?  I mean, what if I didn't get all the germs off my hands during my last hand-washing and then I dried my hands on the dishtowel?  Well, I will tell you what - the germs would now be on the dishtowel.  And why, for the love of God, would I dry my clean hands on a contaminated dishtowel?).  If I lost you, please reread because I promise you that I make a thought-provoking point here.

Let me paint a more specific picture for you...

Let's say we just finished making chicken for dinner.  I begin to wipe the counter, but then I realize that raw chicken may have touched the section of the counter I am cleaning.  I pause to think about where I can set the dishcloth without contaminating another surface and then decide that saving the dishcloth is just not worth the risk and I immediately throw the dishcloth in the garbage.  Next, I turn on the faucet to wash my hands and then turn it off - but wait,  I just touched the - ummm - faucet handle?  Well, that just sounds weird.  But, okay, I just now contaminated the mother-loving faucet handle with my hand that possibly touched raw chicken.  Shit.  (Just to clarify, there is a period after the word chicken.  As in: I possibly touched raw chicken.  Not: I possibly touched raw chicken shit.)  Okay, now I need to spray down my sink with that natural stuff that disinfects without using harmful chemicals (don't ask me how this works.  In my mind it just does because the bottle says so.  Please don't give me another thing to obsess about).  By the way, I don't think I have ever used the term "mother-loving" before, but it just felt like a good time to use it.  I'm not really sure if it should be hyphenated or if it is an open or closed compound word.  Oh well.  Forgive me if I used mother-loving (or mother loving or motherloving) incorrectly.  There.  You can't make fun of me now.  

The million dollar question is: how do I get to my disinfecting-but-non-toxic spray without contaminating my cabinet door and the bottle?  I think I got it!  First, I will wash my hands and then I will grab a piece of paper towel - scratch that - I will grab like five pieces because one is just too thin, so will I fold the five pieces of paper towel to make a thick, salmonella-blocking barrier and use this to turn the water off.  Now I throw the contaminated paper towel in the garbage!  Ugh...the garbage is full with all the damn paper towel and dishcloths that were just not worth saving and now the lid won't close.  Well, I can't really worry about that right now, can I?  My hands are clean and I am not touching the filthy, disgusting, contaminated garbage.  Now, I will open the cabinet, grab the spray, and spray, Spray SPRAY!  Spray the sink (inside and all around the perimeter).  Spray the faucet handle.  Spray like there's no tomorrow.  Well, now that I have started, why wouldn't I spray the counter?  Not just the section where the chicken was, but the entire counter because I am sure that raw chicken has touched the other areas at some point and we have probably been living in a salmonella-infested breeding ground for months, maybe even years.  In fact, the salmonella has probably started to multiply and mutate into something much, much worse.  Like some kind of flesh-eating bacteria or that virus from Outbreak.

Before you know it, I am out of dishcloths, paper towel, hand soap, and disinfecting-but-non-toxic spray.  My hands are bleeding profusely and to add insult to injury (literally), I have nothing left that I can use to wipe the blood.  I am utterly exhausted after the two hours I spent cleaning my kitchen (in actuality, I spent two hours disinfecting one small corner of my kitchen).  I am disgusted by all of the life-threatening filth that remains.  I will never eat anything that is made in my kitchen again.

If you think that my cleaning issues only involve the kitchen, you give me way too much credit.  You should see me freak out about spreading dirt all over my house when I attempt to wash the floors (and trying to decide what's worse: spreading the dirt from the dining room to the living room or from the living room to the dining room) or contaminating my house with the cord of my vacuum cleaner.  You know, all power cords contain lead that can cause cancer, reproductive harm, and/or birth defects.  If you don't believe me, just ask California.  

And don't even get me started on trying to clean the bathroom.  That is a story for another time and could quite possibly be the reason my husband will divorce me one day.

Please do not judge my pink kitchen.  I like to think of it as vintage.  Plus, maybe somebody will see this picture and offer me a free kitchen makeover.  (P.S. I added the grit with some photo editing.  My kitchen isn't quite that gritty in real life.  Most of the grit that is there - like the salmonella grit - is microscopic and would not show up on this photograph.  There's your science lesson for the day.)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Shine on...

There is a lot of talk about selecting your word for the new year (check out this or this or this).  Instead of a list of resolutions, the idea is to select one word and to let this word inspire how you live throughout the year.  I sort of made resolutions for the new year here.  Well, keeping these "resolutions" in mind, I have come up with my word for 2014.


When I think of the word shine, I think of light.  Did you ever meet someone who lights up a room?  I'm not talking about the person who does anything and everything to be the center of attention.  It is important not to equate shine with "look at me" behavior.  I'm talking about the light that shines from within. 

Some people have a special kind of light that makes everyone around them feel special.  This internal light shines brighter than any external show we can put on for others.  We see this light in a person's eyes and in their smile.  We hear this light in their words and in their laughter.  We feel this light in their kindness.  To truly shine is simply a way of living each and every day.  It is a way of being.

In a world that can get dark at times, I want to shine this kind of light.  How can I do this?  This is how I hope to start...

Shine with genuine happiness for others and happiness with myself.

Shine with gratitude for what I have.

Shine with possibility for what might be.

Shine with action in doing the things that I love.

Shine with curiosity in trying new things.
Shine with love.

Shine with laughter.

Shine with hope.

Shine in the moment I have right now.

Shine so bright that the light remains even after the moment is gone. 


Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014...There's nowhere to go but up

Happy 2014!!!

Just because you are in your thirties does not mean you can't party like a rock star.  It's been a long time since P and I shared a crazy night.  One of us is always the driver, which means one of us is always the sober one when we are out with our friends.  But when you plan ahead to sleep over at your friend's house, the possibilities are just endless.  Well, we ended 2013 and began 2014 in a way that made up for any lame nights we shared over the past year (which includes last New Year's Eve).  Two days later and I am still fighting a headache and the occasional wave of nausea.  P and I don't really party anymore, but when we do, it's a doozy.  New Year's Eve was no exception.

There is no better way to begin a new year than drinking delicious wine with your loved one and friends.  That is exactly what we did and it was just perfect.

Of course, when you are chatting and laughing and throwing back the wine and then someone breaks out the whiskey, it is easy to lose track of how much you have had to drink.  There were a lot of tipsy people at our little gathering and things took a bit of an unexpected turn.  Let's just say the night ended with someone peeing in a litter box.  That someone was not me, nor was it the cat.

After the unnamed culprit finished their business, they immediately removed the litter from the box and said, "Well, 2014 can only get better from here."  Well played, my friend. Well played.

P.S. - I assure you that this is not at all the typical behavior of my friends.  If you are deeply disgusted by this story, I apologize.  As another friend pointed out, the situation could have been much worse (like doing #2 in the litter box or peeing behind the couch).  Plus, the person did clean the litter box and, let's be honest, no one likes that job (so someone sort of made out on this ordeal).  But it goes to show, just when you think those wild and crazy drunken moments are years behind you, someone whips out the unexpected (literally) and surprises you.

P.P.S. - For those who may be put off by this, try to find the silver lining in this post.  Rather than judge, just laugh and love.  And remember, we can only go up from here.