Friday, February 26, 2010

Life: i do not like the cone of shame

My cat is a cone-head.

I feel badly about this because, honestly, she's depressed. She lazes around more than usual (she is a kitten afterall) and often sits with her cone facing downwards towards the floor, just staring at her little circle of carpet. It's pretty heartbreaking.

At night she climbs onto me and puts her cone on my face, and we breathe on each other and sleep uncomfortably but tangled up because at least she feels better being close to me I think.

I wish that I could explain to her why she has to wear this thing on her head. It's pretty clear that she's ticked off at me for it. Yesterday I took it off for a while so she could have a break and she took off running around the house for two hours. I couldn't catch her. Occasionally she would run by and take a swipe at me or bite at my ankles.

I got her messages loud and clear.

I want to tell her that it's not my fault, but I can't. This shows me just how much I hate when people are mad at me and I can't talk them out of it, lol. She's a cat, she is wearing a plastic cone 24/7 and I'm the one who keeps putting it back on her. Of course she's going to be annoyed, who wouldn't?

I'm just looking forward to Monday when her stitches come out and we can ditch the cone permanently. It will be nice when I don't have to stare into her sad little eyes anymore, or fix her ears that have gotten pushed backwards into the cone.  Her sad little ears, they get all bent up and folded backwards and she looks like a little piglet.

Talk about a guilt-complex, right? I literally just wrote a whole post dedicated to wishing i could explain the cone-head to my cat so she wouldn't still be mad at me, lol. Oh well. I know it's for her own good and I'm starting to suspect that it's for MY own good as well. I think I'm learning something by not being able to convince her that I'm not the bad guy lol. Like maybe I need to just let go and not be such a control freak sometimes?

Nah, that doesn't sound right. lol

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Coaching: Patience is hard

My Motto


Patience is something that's hard to come by. At least for me it is.

It feels like our culture doesn't really get the concept of patience.  It's like in America the idea of waiting and non-instant-gratification is annoying, it's something we don't think we should have to do. I know it's cliche but i totally blame TV for this. Things seem to magically just happen on TV. People have wealth and satisfaction and test results all within seconds on the screen.

In real life though, things unfortunately don't work like that.

Real life requires a lot of waiting and working and doing and then waiting some more.

And to be honest, I hate that!

The rock pictured above is on my desk.  I keep it there to remind me obviously that I should Never Give Up and to inspire me to keep going when I want to do exactly that.  It also makes me think of that saying that goes something like, "if things aren't better yet than you haven't reached the end".  I guess what i mean is that I have recently come upon the belief that you can't fail at something if you don't stop trying and giving it your all. Just Never Give Up and you will be okay.

Weight loss and fitness is a good example of this: it's hard to lose weight and to get into shape, anyone can tell you that. It's hard to undergo an entire "Lifestyle Change" (a phrase which seems like just another corny title applied to something to make it sell but which is in fact an incredibly accurate description of what a weight loss and fitness routine is). It's hard but if you are diligent with Health and Fitness and if you eat right and work out then EVENTUALLY it will pay off.  It may take weeks or even months to show any sign of progress (trust me, I recently worked out 5 times a week for three weeks only to see the scale go UP before finally going down 1.2 pounds) but eventually it will show up, it will pay off.

Imagine if I had given up on my fitness routine before I had seen that weight loss? I never would have known that if I had stuck it out, I would have found results.

The same is true of everything we want in life, as long as we are TRYING at it and we don't give up we are at the very least bound to learn incredibly valuable life lessons. We must be adaptable, we must be willing to be open to the information we receive along those paths but at long as we do those things (adapt, try, grow, and wait) eventually fortune will smile upon us and all of the pain of patience will be worth while.

And if our lives were TV shows, all of that stuff I just described would fall to the editing-room floor.

But that's okay because I have the sneaking suspicion that the waiting and trying is what makes it taste extra sweet (or extra healthy if your goal is weight loss lol) at the end.

So I'm trying to take my own advice here, to never give up on myself and my ambitions, to put one foot in front of the other and to be patient and wait for my dreams to come true.

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Life: Cupcakes make the world a better place

Sometimes when it's winter and it's cold and it's raining and miserable you just need a little bit of joy in your life to get through it.

On days like that I sit around and plan my eventual move to warm and sunny climates. I literally look up real estate in places like Florida, California and the Caribbean.

I am a big believer in making our own happiness though, and so today I figured that I should take that quite literally:


through baking, of course.

I think that when we make things, no matter what it is that we make we are doing something that is essential in the Universe. The act of creation is a part of us, it is the driving force behind all living things. And on a simplistic level, it makes us feel better to know that we are capable of creating something from a pile of separate components.


today I created cupcakes.

Well, cupcakes and some other things but none of the other things are tangible (they're all words strung into sentences that are living inside my computer...hopefully one day they'll become something tangible though! that's the goal after all)

cupcakes are love

Cupcakes. Happy little pieces of perfection. They are the best thing to make on a cold, rainy February day when you find yourself wondering if you do in fact have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

and there is something so great about putting the sparkling little sprinkles on top.

Chocolate cupcakes!
purple sprinkles

So get out there and make something today. Even if it's something totally indulgent like cupcakes. It still counts!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Life: One Year Later


Today marks one year since The Fire that came and burned down the home where I grew up and tried to take my parents and their dogs along with it.

This has been a hard year for me, it's been full of ups and downs. I will never forget that night...when I went to bed and the world was normal and I woke up and an entirely new era had begun.

I don't mean to dramatize things and I know that there is a seductive allure in telling our own stories so much that they become Epic Tales but this really was a big deal in my life. It's everyone's worst nightmare: to hear the phone ring in the middle of the night when no one is pregnant so it can't be good news.

That's what happened to me a year ago. Only my phone didn't ring, Ryan's did. Why? Because I had absentmindedly left mine on silent, something I never do anymore. Leaving your phone on silent all night is a luxury afforded to those who have never gotten calls like this in the middle of sleeping. It's a luxury I miss but I am glad to avoid now.

When Ryan's phone rang at 2:30 in the morning and he saw who was calling he handed it to me to answer. It was my mom and when I said, "Is everything okay" she said "No." and sobbed.

I remember snippets of the call, mostly her saying the words "the house is gone" over and over again and telling me that Heather (my sister) was on her way to pick her up and she would be at Heather's house (which was then across the street from my own house) soon. I remember collapsing to the floor and then, like a frantic bolt of lightening I darted out of our room, out my front door and across the street where I collapsed onto Heather's front steps sobbing in my nightgown in the middle of the freezing February night. All I knew was that my parents were on their way and that our house was gone.

Ryan came out to try and bring me back inside but I couldn't move from there, I had to wait, my mother said she was on her way and I had to see her, to touch her, to know she was truly okay. He  brought clothes out to me and I dressed on the porch and shivered.

When my mother, father and their two little dogs arrived I burst into tears. My mother looked stunned, my father kept shaking his head.  I wrapped my arms around my mom and buried my face in her hair. It smelled like a campfire, a scent that would linger around all of us for weeks to come.

A few hours later, my siblings and I congregated at Heather's house with the exception of my other sister. My brother, Heather, my mother, Ryan and myself set off to make the trek down to our family home to see what was left. I know I went mostly to find out if this was all Really Real or not. I had to see it, I just had to know.

When we turned onto our street I thought that it had begun to snow. I was wrong. Ash fell from the sky like tragic little snowflakes. Ash. Remnants of our old lives falling all around the car, coating the street. I put my hand to the window and stared.

The house was still standing, but it was still completely gone. Charred and collapsed inside, there really was nothing left.

I remember saying "No, no, no, no, no" and falling to my knees in a pile of rubble that was once my mother's desk and bookshelves and a chest I had made that housed all of our family photos. I dug and dug and dug through broken glass and wet pieces of wall just to try and find anything that I could in that pile. There was nothing there.

Smoke still hung in the walls like the ghosts of our memories.


and as we all looked around at the place where we each used to lived, it dawned upon me: this is Really Real.



For weeks afterward, everywhere I went I had the morbid ability to imagine whatever room I was in transformed to it's post-fire skeletal form. I knew what lived underneath of plaster and drywall and I could picture anywhere in ruins. It was terrifying. I felt like the little boy in the Sixth Sense: haunted, stalked by the dead but in my case it was dead rooms and not dead people.

We would make return visits to our house, some things in the attic had survived, some things from the dining room and an old guest bedroom were in tact still. Every time we entered the house, we had to wear masks and don our 'Fire Clothes' - articles of clothing my father kept in the trunk of his car. These were items that we would only wear into the house because that smell never comes off.

It was post-apocalyptic the way we looked. And in many ways, for us, that felt appropriate.


But this isn't all bad news, I promise, it's not.

Over the time that has passed between now and that morning I spent digging on my knees through the ash of my old memories, there has been a lot of growth.

For one thing, we have all learned to cherish every day and one another very much. I never take any moments with my loved ones for granted anymore. Not even a little bit (like a woman at my book club joked the other day, "you never screen mom's calls again!" how true that is). 

For another, we've had the chance to really define for ourselves just what it means to have a Home.

A house is one thing. It's a building where people live.

A Home however...well, a Home is something else entirely. A Home is a magical sort of thing, alive in the same way that memories are. A Home is a place that holds you, it keeps you, it's where you belong, it's where part of you always is, even if the rest of you has moved on.

And over this year I've had to really come to terms with myself about what A Home really means to me and what it means to lose a Home. I've had to learn that I can lose my Home and not lose the parts of myself that used to live there as well.

Sure, some of it is gone. There was a death in our lives after-all, the death of what used to be, of where we used to live. I had to mourn that death, I had to grieve for it and let it take over me and let myself go through all of the pain of having to figure out just what it all meant. I had to write a letter saying Goodbye to my Home and to those photos and moments that are forever lost.

But in doing that I was able to really clarify for myself just exactly how valuable a Home really is, how much meaning and power it has. A Home: the family member i didn't even realize I had until it was gone.

And now I am aware of what a gift it is to even HAVE a Home, to have a family, to have people in my life that make me feel like there is somewhere I belong. I only felt so empty because I once had felt so full. That is a blessing, truly. A gift like that is one that nothing can ever destroy, not even a hungry fire in the middle of a February night.

So I am grateful. I can truly say that now. I am grateful and I am at peace. I understand that what has been has been and that it is important to honor your past, to respect it and to move on when it is gone. I also have learned that it is equally as important to cherish the present, to absolutely revel in it, to roll around in it and wrap it around you like a warm blanket because that is when all of life is happening: right now at this very moment. And not to be all doom-and-gloom but it is very true when they say that no one ever knows what tomorrow may bring. So live and love today for today. Plain and simple.

As for my parents, they are doing well and are so grateful for the outpouring of love and care they have received over this year. Their house has been rebuilt and while it is very different from the old place that used to live within those walls, it is still theirs nonetheless. And every day it moves farther and farther away from being a House and gets closer and closer to becoming a Home again.

Thank you to everyone who has been there for me and for us this year. I am eternally grateful to you. <3


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Coaching: How to find a Good Husband

I was thinking last night about marriage and how people expect SO MUCH from their spouse in marriage. It's like in our culture we're taught that our spouse is supposed to fulfill us, to COMPLETE us they are literally the missing part of ourselves.

I think this is a toxic message and it sets up marriages for more of a struggle than they should be. The person we're with isn't meant to be another part of OURSELVES, they are meant to fully be themselves, they are meant to only be who they are. And marriage isn't some experience meant to make us wildly happy all the time, it's meant to be two people, working towards the same goals in life. It is my own job to find my own happiness in the world, just like it is my partner's own job to find and create his own happiness in the world. Imagine what a burden it would be to place all of your potential for happiness into the hands of someone else? I would hate that if someone said, "okay now you have to make me happy for the rest of our lives. go." like what? fend for yourself please, i'm trying to sort out my own damn issues over here.

I know that might sound cynical or detached or mean even but really it's not, it's logical and important to realize. Marriage isn't about completing all of the missing holes in your heart...that's what life coaching and therapy is for. Marriage is about going through the journey of life with someone, having each other's backs, being a family, and walking together towards mutual goals.

There are so many relationships that are doomed because people are trying to make a Husband out of just a Regular Guy who doesn't share the same goals as them.

Think about it, a Husband has very different qualities than a Boyfriend or a Fling or a Date or anything else. A Husband is someone who is on the same level as you, who is more LIKE you than not (in terms of the big picture and mutual goals, not in terms of the small stuff at all). A Husband is someone who shares your values, who wants the same basic things you do (family, education, career goals, whatever it may be overall) and it is someone who supports you, who is able to help you through life, who you are able to figure things out with and work together with.

Sure Blane with the tattoos might have a six pack and long hair and he might be exactly the kind of guy you never thought would be interested in you and so once you've got him you just wanna do any and everything to keep him but you'd be fooling yourself if you think that Blane will ever become Husband material. Especially if you think that you can get him there yourself.

And yet how many people actually MARRY these people who really should have just been Flings or Dates or Rebellious Phases? So many. SO MANY.

And there are so many women out there who are glamorous professionals who are having the hardest time meeting The Right Guy to settle down with and so they remain single into their mid thirties and blow their shot at the family they're scared to admit that they want...and why? because they're unwilling to realize that there is no such thing as The Perfect Person. That it is totally OKAY to marry The Good Guy. The Friend, The Confident. There are so many great Potential Husbands out there that just get overlooked because of this misconception that our spouse is supposed to be this Sex God/Wild/Lady's Man and yet also want to wipe little Bobby's nose and invest in a sensible retirement plan.

No wonder everyone is having such a hard time.

My advice is to know who your flings are, go have flings with them, get it out of your system and then turn around and look at the guy in your office, or the friend you've had since childhood or that guy who always stutters around you and you know that he is just secretly in love with you but he has glasses and tucks his shirts into his jeans so you've written him off. Just look at these people and ask yourself, "Would he be a good HUSBAND" because that is a very different role to play than Boyfriend and honestly, only some guys are cut out for it and can do it well.

I bet that a lot of people would be surprised to find that yes, surrounding them are many, many great Potential Husbands that are just being overlooked. The challenge is to get over your own insecurities and issues, get past the need to have arm candy or to finally feel validated by a "Jock" wanting to date you and deal with all of your OWN issues before you try to find someone to spend your life with. Because it's only fair to be a good Wife to all of those good Husbands out there.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coaching: why worrying wastes time

so i'm sitting here chewing my finger nails and looking at the clock and tapping my foot and generally having butterflies flutter around through my whole body. Why? Because I'm worried about my cat.

I know that might sound trite and silly and weird but it's true.

See the fact is i come from a long line of Crazy People. And i mean that in an endearing way. We are the kind of people who get emotionally attached to things and people and animals very easily. When I was a child I once didn't throw out a marshmallow peep for WEEKS because I didn't want to hurt it's feelings.

I told you, crazy.

So today I had to put my cat in to the vet to get spayed. And of course I am sitting here worrying. She's been there since 8:00AM and since my husband was the one who dropped her off I don't have the useful information that I would have if i had been the one to take her in myself (things like when the surgery is, when they will call me to get my results, when i can call tomorrow to pick her up, etc). I don't mean this in a mean or diminishing way, I just mean it as an observation: that in my experience men sorta forget to get the little details and instead opt to get the task done without pausing to fill in the rest of that "stuff" like information lol.

So I'm assuming that she's in her surgery now and that's what's causing me to tap my feet a lot and drink tea and sit here when I should be doing things like errands.


Worry does this to us though in life. It's just this pervasive thing that shows up and takes over and while it's in your house you can't ignore it or pretend it's not there. So you sit down on the couch with it and keep it entertained hoping that you can eventually get the visit overwith and then Worry will be on it's way.

Unfortunately that's not how it works. With worry, the more attention we give it, the bigger and bigger it gets. And pretty soon it takes over and it's commanding what we're doing and where we're going and how we're acting and what we're feeling and that is just Not Cool.

Worry is one of the only things in life where spending a lot of time doing it is unproductive and makes things worse. Worrying about something doesn't make it better, doesn't give it a chance to turn out safe or well or good, it just eats away at the person doing the worrying, it just erodes their mood and their happiness and most importantly it eats away at their sanity.

When we worry we don't achieve anything at all - we just get stuck in a cycle of negativity, we get all wrapped up in ourselves and our thoughts and our FEAR of the unknown that it just grows and grows and grows and arrests our lives.

I know it's hard but the truth is that it's best for everyone to stop worrying. IF something bad is going to happen, worry alone will NEVER stop that from being so, it won't stop the event and it won't make it any better. In fact, it has potential to make us feel worse ("i was so worried this would happen, why didn't i do something about it??"). Worry doesn't have the power to create positive results, it doesn't.

The trick is to find acceptance. Find acceptance and then let go.

Sure, something bad can happen but if you have already committed to a decision, you cannot allow room in your space for Worry to come along too. You just can't. If you've made up your mind, you have to detach from the place of "what if" and go along for the ride ready and willing to see what comes of it. Detach. Come up with a plan for a worst case scenario so you know exactly what to do in case something terrible DOES happen and then let go and trust your plan. Obsessing about things never helps at all.

Our brains think in circuits, the more we think a certain way the more our brain gets accustomed to thinking in that pattern. We are training our brains to react and respond in certain manners. If you worry a lot, your brain learns to audible to worry as a response to new situations where you aren't sure how to react. Stop the pattern. When you catch yourself worrying pick something new and proactive and full of trust and empowerment. Say to yourself, "no matter what the outcome, everything will be fine." and BELIEVE that.

You must find a place within you whether you call it God or the Universe or your Self or your sense of Higher Self and you must believe that that place is capable of getting you through the tough parts of life. Believe in it, have faith in it, reflect back upon tragedies and realize that you SURVIVED those experiences, you made the best choices for yourself that you could at the time and you will always do so again in the future. and then release the worry. It's just an indulgence.

So that's my goal for today, to stop worrying about Zoey.

It doesn't mean i care any less, not at all. I love her, i care for her with my whole entire heart but I don't want this procedure to halt my life or take over my sanity. It is one experience and i made the choice to go through with it so I must trust that decision. If, Heaven forbid, something happens I will have to deal with that then; but that is true whether i worry myself sick about it now or not.

What are you worrying about in your life and how will you take steps to make the worry stop today?

Snuggle Duck

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

life coaching! a plug lol

Recently I've been coaching again and I love it. It's really nice to be able to do this again, I've missed my business.

To summarize: I am a certified life coach and I used to have my own business. I started coaching in 2005 and had a business until 2008 when it had to close for economic reasons. I focused on relationships, self-improvement and creativity coaching.

I decided to get back into coaching again just for my love of it. I really enjoy helping people who want to make changes in their lives. I think that people who WANT help deserve it and are entitled to it and I want to be there for those people. Sometimes just talking to someone (especially if that person is a trained and certified professional like myself) can help alleviate a lot of stress and put issues into perspective. Other times people really need to get down into it and figure out what's going on with them. I want to be there to help them get through their issues.

So I told some people via livejournal that I was going to be coaching again and I actually got some responses. I'm offering sessions at an incredibly discounted rate ($15 per session) which is seriously a fraction of what I used to charge but honestly, who cares? I want it to be an accessible service, I want it to be something people CAN do if they really WANT the help. Changing your life shouldn't be something that only the wealthy can do. That's not fair.

Anyway, I've had two sessions in the past week and it's great to feel like I'm back in the game again. I'm really happy to be there and this is the kind of thing I really thrive on.

So that said, if anyone else is interested in some coaching, let me know. It can be one session only or as many as you want or you can just figure it out as we go.

I can do email coaching or phone coaching, or a combination of the two. It doesn't matter.

Here's what we'd do:

you would email me and let me know what situation you are trying to work through/what you are hoping to improve on or change in your life (it can be anything, a certain scenario with your spouse that is bothering you, you might want to lose weight, you could be stuck with a creative project, unsure what career you want, not knowing how to handle a potential family conflict, etc). You'd write up the situation from your point of view and explain what you're going through and then we'd move forward from there. I'd either email you back with some suggestions and some exercises to do or we'd talk on the phone and i would give you some suggestions and exercises to do. We'd break, you'd go do those exercises and then get back to me and we discuss it and how to go forward from there.

That's how it works! Not bad, huh?

So anyway, if anyone wants to do some coaching with me feel free to let me know. I'd love to coach you, it's really fulfilling to me and hopefully would be for you as well ;)

you can comment here or email me at rhianawhite at gmail dot com


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Life: wouldn't it suck if....

Wouldn't it suck if the guy standing at the Gates of Heaven was like Simon Cowell?

What if he was all like, "Absolutely not, you were the worst person i've ever seen. You have no business being here whatsoever. I'm just being honest."

and then I'd have to be all like, "Oh but please, please! Give me one more chance! Can I try something else? Wait, quick, I see a building on fire down there and I know that puppies live in it, let me go save some!"

But you know he would roll his eyes and shake his head and say, "No, those puppies would be better off if you don't touch them so they don't have to deal with YOU coming into contact with them. Trust me. They'd rather perish in that fire than have your hands on them."

So then I would wail and makeup would streak down my face and my false eyelashes would begin to come undone. I would fall to my knees and start shouting things like, "But I used organic toilet paper! They promised to save one tree for every roll I bought!" and, "Please, PLEASE! I didn't cheat on my math exam and I EASILY COULD HAVE!" and the security guys would have to start dragging me out while I kick and scream and say, "Just one more chance! I'll be better! I was just nervous!!!"

And for a moment after I was gone Simon would stand there in stunned silence before muttering to himself, "God I hate this job."

And then God will reply, "Well that's what you get for being such a prick your whole damn life."

And I would still be gone. No Golden Ticket for me.

Yup. That would suck if that happened.

Life: a letter to the internet

Dear Internet,

Today i worked out again. I've been doing that a lot lately and it makes me feel more powerful and self confident (even though I'm doing the 30 Day Shred and every time Jillian tells me to get into plank pose I want to scream, "NOOOOO! NOT AGAIN!!!" but I do it anyway and then much later (after I've showered and caught my breath) i feel freaking amazing because I could do it. I can do real pushups now. I never could before. I like that).

Right now my husband is walking around the house in boxer-briefs and a sweartshirt hoodie. This is one of the things they don't tell you will happen when you get married. Your spouse will do the most RANDOM things ever and it will be the most fun to find out how weird they can be. Like, really? A sweatshirt and boxer-briefs!? How is that not the greatest thing ever? It definitely is.

I got to have a late lunch with my best friend today at Our Place. We always go to the same place to get Soup For Lunch. Though recently it's been Soup then an Entree and then we split Dessert. Fine by me, I'm working out now so it's okay, right? lol (i'm pretty sure that's the kind of thinking that got me into the situation of needing to work out in the first place).

Anyway, today she's sad because she entered a contest to win a free $90,000 wedding but she didn't win. Some other couple won and we decided that we hate them because they look like they're trashy and they met at a dive bar. They also have four kids and are in their mid-thirties. We don't think they deserved to win as much as she and her fiance did. They were accused of cheating anyway. Really we hate them because they won and she didn't and we're jealous of them. Okay and all that other stuff I said too about them not deserving to win.

Who knows though really WHO deserves or doesn't deserve to win things? The word "deserve" is completely meaningless anyway. Deserve is in the eye of the beholder if you think about it. There will always be someone who thinks they deserve something and someone else who thinks they don't. There's really no such thing. We've all had hardships and we've all had successes.

I went to dinner later with my in-laws and it was nice. I had a salad because I want to continue to lose weight since i've been doing so well on my work-out/fitness thing. I don't even like salad to be honest. I know that's like some "Gasp!" non-girl-thing or something. I'm supposed to like go to lunch in the cities with my friends and eat salads and wear high heels and be obsessed with my phone the whole time but really i don't do any of that (okay fine except for the phone part). I only liked this salad tonight because there was fruit in it.

I took some pictures today too. The light was beautiful in my room when the sun was setting. I tried to get some silhouettes but they didn't come out as well as I had hoped. That was sad. My husband really liked them though. He really likes me. I'm lucky because he's pretty great.

Tomorrow the Snow Days are officially over and he'll be going back to work which makes me sad. I'll miss him because I have off.

Sometimes I get depressed when I'm home alone on a day off. I guess it's because I sit and think and compare my life to where my fake life in my head says i SHOULD be by now. Should is a very stupid and dangerous word. There is only what IS. And nothing is wrong with that.

Maybe tomorrow i'll work on some of the writing ideas i have. That'd be awesome.

this morning i had oatmeal with berries. It's the little things that make me the happiest. How bout you?




Coaching: thoughts from the a dark desk with only a small light upon it...

So here's a potentially profound thought:

I'm writing this after trying to go to bed. I had a particularly....irritating encounter with my husband and was left staring wide-eyed into the darkness of our bedroom while he drifted in and out of sleep.

Thoughts swirled around in my head as I talked myself into being more frustrated. And I realized two things:

1. I could choose to talk myself into being less frustrated if i wanted to (but what would THAT teach him? (lol sooo not a productive or helpful perspective!))


2. Maybe it isn't my spouse's job to create happiness in my life.

Not that he makes me unhappy because he doesn't. But maybe the fact that 95% of the time he makes me blissfully happy is just a bonus to his personality and really isn't in any way attached to his "role" as my spouse.

Seriously, who said that our spouse is responsible for our life satisfaction? When things aren't going great, who said that it's okay to blink into the darkness and wonder why they aren't doing more or trying more or being better? Who said it's okay to compare them to yourself? I think things like: "I would never just fall asleep if I knew that I had frustrated him this much." Well So what? That doesn't really mean anything does it? He isn't me, he's him. And He WOULD fall asleep because that's who he is. And why isn't that okay?

I guess what i'm trying to say here in my own convoluted way is that my happiness comes from myself and also that happiness is a CHOICE.

I can choose to see frustrating encounters as these big awful situations that rain on my parade and bring me down and cause me to have a sleepless night OR i can choose to see my spouse as a human being, someone who is concerned for his own needs and wants (and not in a bad way, just in a natural way) and someone who is just being himself; a person. It's not his job on earth to make sure that he does every single thing perfectly with me. It's not his place to make me happy 100% of the time. Isn't that MY job? Shouldn't that be my own ambition? (actually, note: no it's one should strive to be happy 100% of this time, our culture has a strange obsession with eternal happiness...but that's something to discuss another time)

Sure, there are places we can ALL improve in life, but isn't that what the whole point of life is? Isn't that the reason to it all? Shouldn't I be focusing instead on my own self-improvements instead of doling them out to my husband? The man who I am supposed to love and cherish?

Why is it that his frustrations and challenges are frustrating ME? Why do I not respond with the same immediate compassion that I think that he should bestow upon me as well? I don't know.

Quite frankly, certification or not, it's not my place to judge whether someone else is improving the way I think that they should be (unless I am hired by them as a professional, and in this situation, i definitely was not being asked my professional opinion). Truthfully, it's not my place to decide how he should act in any situation at all - unless he wants me to. My place is to be on the receiving end and to be open to however he DOES act, my job is to show up the best i can no matter what and to focus on myself and to ask myself if I am being the person i think that I should be - not if HE is being the person i think that HE should be.

Yes, of course when a line has been truly crossed I can feel free to point out the damage that is done and to enforce a boundary upon that situation but in small everyday situations is it really necessary for me to chime in and consider ways in which he could (or "should") handle situations differently (aka "better")? Definitely not. Definitely not at all. (Please note: abuse situations are different than this, do not justify abuse to yourself under any circumstance. but that's not at all what i'm discussing here)

Ideally I should pick to go through with each experience authentically and to show up and handle the information in whatever way is the best for me personally. Kindness and Compassion for all parties involved (including myself) should be my first priority in any situation I encounter and I should move on from there.

Judgment, angst, frustration; those feelings do not really have a place in these situations because they aren't productive, they aren't compassionate and they don't allow the space for my husband to be his own person. And isn't that who I love? Isn't that who I married? Isn't that precisely who I pictured myself being with?

Last I checked I didn't marry the mirror. Nor would I want to.

So i guess the point of this all goes back to that whole, "he who lives in glass houses should not cast stones" thing. I'm not the greatest either, no matter how much I think I am when I feel personally affronted at midnight in the dark and therefore I shouldn't really start demanding things of others that I'm not giving forth myself.

Food for thought. Or for sleep.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Life: Happy Valentine's Week


I am getting ready for Valentine's Day here on the snowy Mid-Atlantic coast. And by Getting Ready I mostly just mean that I am finding ways to justify baking cupcakes and cutting hearts out of paper in the livingroom today while I'm on a snow day.

My husband is working from home and we are breaking apart the day by watching Youtube Videos and laughing until tears roll down our cheeks while he is on bathroom breaks and eating his lunch. It's fun to have him around even if he IS busy most of the time. I just like that he's here in the room with me.

I am wondering something: how do other married couples celebrate Valentine's Day? This is our second Valentine's Day being married but apparently last year's celebration was so anti-climatic that I can't recall it now.

I think that V-Day is more a holiday for the unmarried/people not in super serious relationships. It gives them a chance to see where their relationship is, it's like a litmus test for "seriousness".

For me I'll just be excited to go out for dinner and maybe see a chick flick. I am really looking forward to eating chocolate without guilt and I will definitely be having cupcakes because they're my favorite. And then I'll probably make up for it all by working out three times in one weekend.

So if anyone is out there reading this, tell me how you plan to celebrate Valentine's Day? I know it's Internet Trendy to shun this holiday as being "stupid" and "pointless" and an unnecessary way to express love but I feel the opposite. I think that it's great to have any excuse to tell those we love that we love them. Appreciation is something that is in short order in this culture and it really does mean a lot to take time out of our days/lives and tell those that we love exactly that.

So get out there and tell someone that you love them. They don't have to be your valentine, just show some extra affection because it's a nice thing to do.

And just for the fun of it, here's Zoey looking out at all the snowfall.

what's that?
okay so i have real stuff to post about today but seriously, if you only ever watch one thing that i post you should seriously watch this, this is SO FUNNY:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

by george! i think i've got it!

the other day I wrote a haiku about the internet:

Do you ever want
to say LOL out loud?
I do. All the time.

profound and prolific, right? lol

In other news, I think I might have come up for the platform for this blog. The "what the hell is it about"-ness. I'm thinking i might angle it like "a young wife's journey" or something of that nature. Seriously, i think so!

The reason for that is this:

1. I would totally read a blog written by and about being a young wife.

2. Lots of big stuff is going on at this point in my life...we've just moved to a nice place, we're paying off our cars, I'm finishing college and continuing on to grad school (god willing) OR to publishing my first of many (fingers crossed) novels. We're going to start TTC (trying to conceive) soon and THAT's a big deal and then I will be a young mommy (YOUNG I SAY) juggling all of that stuff.

I don't know, i think it's interesting. Though i do laugh now to realize that "young" wife might not really be the right way to phrase it. Maybe I ain't so young in terms of wifedom afterall. Though i feel young. I definitely feel young to be a wife even though i guess technically I'm a year into this wife thing.

Anyway, like i said, there's a lot of stuff going on so I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it that way. A Young Wife Posts on the Internet. Complete with Photos.

Though I must admit, I am slacking on the photos department recently. I promise all that will change shortly! I swear it will!

So there we have it, we'll see how it goes. I've got to start adding blogs to my reader and get into the habit of checking it. It's just so hard for me to break my Livejournal habit but alas the Internet Gods of Blogging are speaking to me and they've whispered in my ear that livejournal is on it's last legs so to speak and it's not gonna be around forever. I have to build up my backup network now while I still can. I only hope that my loyal friends from LJ will follow me here if things go south for them over there.

So yea, that's that.

Wife and Life. Not bad, not bad at all


Friday, February 5, 2010

oh sNOw!

So it's apparently supposed to start snowing soon. As in, within the next few hours.

Some people talk about being born in the wrong era. Maybe describing how they would've liked to be born in the 50's when women wore poodle skirts and men slicked their hair and took them on official dates. Others maybe wish they lived in the renaissance, big gowns, knights in shining armor, the whole thing (although, really, just thinking about the bugs and the impurities in the water back then makes me itch and choke a little bit to be honest).

I wasn't born in the wrong era.

I was born in the wrong geography.

Honestly, it is way too cold here.

For those who don't know, I live in Eastern Pennsylvania. Hardly the arctic. Pennsylvania doesn't even come up in the minds of most people when they are listing "cold places". It doesn't matter though because i know the truth: I know that Pennsylvania is a frigid wasteland of cold. I know that sometimes when i come home at night i can't stop shivering until i put myself in a hot tub or take a steamy shower.

Other people are fine here, i don't get it. My husband will wear just a shirt out and he'll be fine. On the same day I will literally layer myself in a tank top, a long sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt and a wool coat and will still feel the sharp bite of the wind cut right straight through me.

I don't get it. And I don't like it.

I dream of warm climates. Winter with highs of 75 degrees and lows of 60. I dream of palm-trees decorated with twinkling lights at Christmas time, swimming in my back yard pool while my friends update about rock salt and shovels. I dream of heat.

But alas, i know that my dream is just that - a DREAM. I know that the odds of it ever coming through to fruition are slim to none. I know this because there is something i love even more than the warmth: my family.

Yup. my family. I'm a family kind of girl at heart and unfortunately (or fortunately i guess) for me my whole entire family (complete with my husband's whole entire family) lives in Eastern Pennsylvania.

I don't give up though. I am an eternal optimist, someone who took it seriously when they told me as a child that i could do anything i set my mind to and I've set my mind to convincing my family to move somewhere warm.

I've begun to make suggestions, i've described beaches, blue skies and sunshine on the bleakest, grayest, snowiest days here. I've imagined us all living near one another somewhere lovely and warm, the walks we would go on, the photos we could take, i've even appealed to my dad's love of fishing.

I can't say that it's time yet to pull out the Real Estate section and start making phone calls but I have seen my mom's eyes drift off and stare into the distance while she perhaps thinks of sand between her toes and lifting conch shells to her ears. I can only hope that if it does snow today, that it snows enough to make that dream of mine inch a little bit closer to becoming a reality.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

my journey begins

I am embarking on several new journeys and I suppose that here is as good of a place as any to start to document them.

I figured I would start with a list of the new things going on in my life. Then I might make a list of the things that are STILL going on (the same old, same old list) and then maybe i'll be so bold as to make a list of the things that are no longer going on in my life.

The New Things:

1. I am going to be taking a photography course starting at the end of this month. My brother in law will be taking it will me and I'm very excited for it. That also means that I will be flooding the internet with more and more photos that I take (like the ones I already put up over at my flickr account.

2. I am endeavoring to get into shape. For the first time in my life I can say that with sincerity it has nothing to do with wanting to lose weight. I just want to be healthy and stronger. I want to be in better physical shape. I want to have some muscles, to be able to run around without getting winded. I want to be healthy. Why? because of

3. I am hoping to start TTC soon. TTC is internet lingo for Trying To Conceive as in trying (wait, actually trying? isn't this the thing i've been avoiding for the past 12 years??) to get pregnant. It's not going to happen anytime soon, it's not an ACTIVE situation just yet but I want my body to be in great shape before it does happen. I want this whole thing to be as smooth and comfortable and healthy as possible.

So there are the New Things

Here are the Same Old, Same Old things:

1. I am still in school. I am finishing up my bachelors degree in English with a concentration on Creative Writing and am forever making mental plans for grad-school and life beyond my undergrad degree.

2. I am still unemployed officially (though I do pick up freelance work still on occasion and I am making plans to start up a side business during/by the summer)

and here are the Things That Are Over:

1. I am no longer living in the tiniest apartment ever

2. I am no longer a vegetarian 100% of the time. it's probably about 75% of the time

3. I am no longer a PC user? lol i don't know.

Anyway, that's how it stands.

Oh and this! This is new. Updating my blogger blog and attempting to make this a real-deal situation. Eventually it will get all fancy with a URL and custom-made layouts and things of that nature but for now it's just a little invisible corner of the world and I like it that way. I like taking things one step at a time.

For now, here's a sample of some photos i took recently that I like:

branchy love

swing your way on over

it's another pattern forming...

You've got mail

filagree in the morning

to make you feel my love