Routinely

We humans are creatures of habits.  We like consistency or at least routine.  Even those of us who claim we don’t, we do.  Want the proof, simply take away a standard routine in your day and see what happens.

Allow me to share, every Monday I receive a motivating and/or uplifting practice to try.  Yep believe it or I do try to add positivity and motivation into my life; having an unrelenting chronic illness can leave you feeling negative and unmotivated.  Anyway every Monday I get one of these emails in my inbox. I look forward to these emails even if all I do sometimes is just read the email.

Yesterday I received an email stating that author of these wonderful things is taking a break for four months.  Of course she is entitled to a break, but suddenly I’m unhappy.  Not because she is taking a break and not because I am applying everything in each email.  Nope that is not what makes me unhappy, instead it is this sense of being set adrift with no directions to follow.

My routine, those moments I spend reading the email and contemplating applying the information, is suddenly been messed with.  It’s not a big deal and I’m already over it, but let’s face it, when someone takes our usual parking spot, it darkens our day a little.  You have a favorite spot for your yoga mat and someone else takes it, well even if you won’t admit it to anyone else, it sucks.  Why because your routine, those moments of consistency and dependable results are somehow soothing.

Too Kindly By Nature Is Too Much

Beloved is the kind of person parents hope their children grow up to become and I, well let’s just say I tend to remind people of the rules around exceptions. It isn’t that I’m a horrible person as per say so much as it is that Beloved is such a good-natured, kind-hearted, compassionate, caring and generous person that I come up with the extra short end of the stick.

So you see in a way it is his fault that we ended up trying to use toothpaste to scrub walls and dousing ourselves in bleach the other day. I certainly would not have allowed this to happen, not in a New York minute, but then I’m not the kind of person Beloved is. So when a friend phoned with an issue on her hands, namely she was suddenly in receipt of two tickets to an event she really wanted to go to, but found herself minus a babysitter I fully blame Beloved. For saying yes, without thinking and taking me down this path with him. Because clearly my life has been missing crayons, toothpaste, scrubbing walls and let’s not forget the bleach.

Children after all will be children and when crayons are your way of expressing yourself and you have some spare time, how can you honestly be expected to resist the tempting canvas otherwise known as the bedroom wall? (I say this because being the type of person Beloved is, he asked the crayon wielding toddler why she thought she could draw on the walls and she responded with “it was there” she mumbled something else and then announced “ the wall is pretty this way. Mommy likes pretty.” Kind of hard to argue with that type of logic once you figure out how their brains work.)

Now Beloved and I are not parents, unless you count the fur-bearing four-footed variety as children, for good reason. We are both kind of caught up in our own lives, which makes it rather challenging to provide a child all the attention that s/he needs. Hence when a noise came from the baby, a sound unlike anything I’ve ever heard before or since, we both went to check on the child. Evidently projectile pooping is a thing with babies; the aim is height and distance I suspect. And if you miss on achieving maximum height or exceeding previous distance records then at least aim your poop onto something expensive and important as far as the adults in your life are concerned. It will give you much more to smile and wiggle about.

Naturally with the baby managing to distract both of us with his amazing feats, his sister moved into unleashing her inner artist all over her mother’s bedroom wall. With red crayon which was ground into the pain, the plaster the very essence of the wall I dare say.

Some expert on the internet said that using the non-gel type of toothpaste, with a brush should slowly remove the crayon off the wall. The expert failed to mention how slowly or how hard one must scrub. We were no doubt high on bleach fumes, what with having to try to clean poop from the white carpet, the white chair and the child. The cellphone and legal paperwork we opted to not touch because a) bleach and paper don’t go together and b) bleach and cellphone has less than stellar reviews.
Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to be so kind and generous. If you ask me no event, no outing was worth our adventure. And in case you are wondering, the toothpaste did remove some of the crayon, but not all of it. Not before mommy came home. I think mommy may be redoing the house this way, new paint on the walls along with new furniture and carpeting too.

Because You Were Told Not To…

It’s human nature, the experts say, to want that which we cannot have. Tell someone that they cannot touch something and they will be compelled to do exactly that. Let a person know they can’t move for a period of time and suddenly the person develops an uncontrollable twitch. It is, after all , our nature.

Perhaps that is why it isn’t uncommon to hear about coworkers stealing other coworkers’ lunches out of the staff room. No matter the business, the location, the profession this seems to be a thing. Maybe the other person’s lunch looked better than yours or perhaps you forgot your lunch. The reason doesn’t matter as much as the action. Because that action means someone is going to be without lunch.

It appears that a lunch thief has recently appeared in Beloved’s place of employment. After the Head of Human Resources had his lunch stolen for the eighth time, he decided it had become a matter that falls under the Human Resources jurisdiction. To this end memos were written, policies developed and procedures set in place. Stealing another person’s lunch is strictly forbidden. To show that Human Resources means business, if you are caught stealing someone’s lunch you will be suspended for one day without pay and have to take a half day training course upon your return to the workplace. (No word on what the half day training course is about, maybe how to be a better thief. Or perhaps how to make your own lunch.)

On the ninth day, the day after all of the documentation had been delivered, the Human Resources Head went down to the lunchroom sure his lunch would be safe. And of course it wasn’t because they had never caught the person taking his lunch in the first place. So cameras were set up to see if a person could be identified.

On the fourteenth day, by this time the Head had started bringing a “backup lunch” just in case someone was going to steal his “A lunch”, a typed note was placed where the lunch once sat. The note was a request, just a small request, for the Head to buy a different brand of yogurt.

To this day the lunch thief is still at large, the Head has taken to bringing a lunch he can leave in his office and the rest of the employees have had a good laugh at the whole thing. But the truth is, when you happen to be the one who it happens to, it probably isn’t’ all that funny. Although even the Head now admits he may have gone overboard with things, and thus has had the cameras removed.

Have Guilt

A friend of mine recently confessed to feeling guilty most of the time lately. She said she feels guilt for not providing her children the perfect childhood; for not celebrating their every success; for not being there all the time for them. She also feels guilty for not being there for her husband during some of the stressful times in life. She feels guilty for not answering emails, phone calls or texts in a timely fashion. She feels guilty about not being there for friends and parents because the house needs cleaning, errands need attended to, meals need to be cooked and laundry keeps piling up.

She feels guilty that sometimes at work she finds herself doing personal things, or not being mentally present for the full hours she is being paid to be there because something else is on her mind. She feels guilty about being away from her kids during work hours and she feels guilty about unfinished projects at work when she is at home. She thought perhaps if she simply had more time or was better at time management she wouldn’t feel so guilty these days.

But the truth is a bit different. You see somewhere along the journey of life she came to the decision that everything should be perfect. That she should be everything to everyone immediately. And honestly, I know I’ve fallen into this trap a few times as well.

I also feel guilty about coming from a place of privledge, not to mention the opportunities I have had and continue to have. I feel guilty about putting my work before Beloved and others. I feel guilty for failing to be as supportive as I want to be. I feel guilty about not doing MORE for causes I believe in. I feel guilty because I do not understand the hardship others have felt.  I feel guilty for not doing enough to make this a better place.  And I feel guilty for being hampered by lupus as it means others must help me or pick up my slack.

There are so many reasons feel guilty these days.  The more I learn about what is going on globally, the more likely it is that I will have guilt over being safe, or having more or having access to something.  But at the same time, I feel blessed and am aware of my good fortune.  I need to do more to be able to provide opportunities where and how I can so others may feel the same as well.

How about you?  Do you have guilt?

A Fishy Video Reveals Human Nature

A coworker’s husband is traveling abroad and decided to send her some videos of the things he is experiencing.  That way, he explained to her, she can share the experience with him as well somewhat.

The first video he sent was exploring th streets near his hotel.  This video included a rather long view of the various street food available to him.  Local delights that wouldn’t be things we’d find at home.  I must say the bugs-on-stick  deal aren’t really my thing.  What this video didn’t show was him sampling the local fare, or the after effects.

The second video was of a visit to a busy market.  Unfortunately he moved so quickly that everything he shot was blurry.  But it’s the effort that counts because the market was very busy and elbows were flying.

The latest video is of him partaking of a local custom…a pedicure of sorts I guess.  The pedicure is being delivered via fish.  Yes fish.  Well I don’t think they do the whole thing, but they removed the dead skin before the nails are tended to and the lotion applied.  Or maybe you don’t get lotion if the fish nibble on you.  I’m not familiar with this, I mean I’ve heard of it and seen it done before.  But I’m not in the know on all the ins and outs.  And to be honest I’m okay with this.

I’m not sure exactly how healthy this process is.  I mean do the fish carry diseases?  Can they transfer things like athletes foot from one person to another?  And are they pooping in the water where your feet, freshly exfoliated feet at that?  If so does that create a health problem?  How are the fish regulated?

My biggest question though is how did we come to this place?  Who first decided to give this a try and market it to the masses?  And why on earth did my coworker’s husband decide to stick his feet in a bucket and then have the water and fish dumped on his feet? I’m not sure he needed to video the whole fifteen minted of the treatment either, but my coworker watched it all.

What ive learned from these videos is that I have no desire to let fish exfoliate my feet.  I’ve also discovered that street food is the same and yet different the world over.  And where there are sales, you better be prepared for an elbow from a sweet looking older lady because when it comes to sales, anything goes!  See people aren’t that different no matter where you are!  Some people go to spas where they relax and have people work on their feet where other people sit in a comfortable chair and let the fish do the work.

Overextending And What’s In Arms Reach

cup vat of coffee was within arm’s reach and reach is exactly what my arm did, as my hand grasped the handle so I might have just a wee sip of the much-needed drink.  I had gotten it into my head that what I needed to do right now was make a flourless orange cake.

I know, I must be ill because my inner cook hardly ever feels the need to be called upon. Regardless, I was simmering two oranges and trying to figure out the food processor when I reached for more coffee.  I have come to the conclusion that I may, in fact be possessed.  I have no other way of explaining this behavior and not even a vat of coffee is going to solve the problem.

Making the cake itself is super easy and you only need a handful of ingredients.  It just happens to be time-consuming and given that you can’t make more time, I should have taken that into consideration before I started down this path.

But it was too late to do much of anything other than forge ahead and remind myself I had only me to blame for this.  Well okay technically I was blaming someone else because this nameless person just had to have a taste of the cake.  And I decided they needed to taste it today.

I always marvel at how far people extend themselves when it comes to loved ones, whether blood relatives or dear friends.  You’d think these are the people we would be most comfortable with and therefore more capable of saying no.  But somehow these are the very people we want to please, keep or make happy or simply surprise them with something.  Even if it means overextending ourselves or running out of time!

this time of year, no doubt countless people will overextend themselves, their energy and their money.  The real special part isn’t really the time of year, and we shouldn’t feel so compelled to put everything it o one day.  We should allow small and meaningful gestures each day, show those we care about how important they are every day.  Rather than use a holiday as a reason to shower them with various symbols of our appreciation. Because the words spoken from our hearts will always be more precious than a material gift.  Or a flourless orange cake.

Kitchen Assistance, A Plea For Help

The kitchen is currently awash in high seas of tomatoes, beans, squash, carrots and leafy greens.  Competing with this swell are peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, grapes and berries.

I love this time of year for the bounty that it brings. And part of me also dreads this time of year due to my lack of domestic skills, which means canning, freezing, pickling and such aren’t in my forte and the produce knows this.

I end up consuming mass amounts because it tastes good and is right there.  Not that there is much wrong with this other than that a person can have too much of a good thing if she eats a giant salad followed by two peaches and one nectarine within the matter of five hours.  The body demands pacing after all.

If you have suggestions, ideas, help or tips to save me, please share otherwise I can’t be held responsible for what might happen!