Bold Fortune

fortune favors the bold

Month: June, 2011

Om.

by mollykl

Inspiration has struck! “Time-out meditation”. You meditate while your kid has a time-out. Now if you hold to the standard of a minute per year the kid’s been on this planet for me that means 4 minutes of meditation time for me. 4 1/2 minute if he’s really pushing it and I feel like being strict. It’s really the only time I can count on to sit and be still and silent. And god knows that’s the time when I need peace and calm. But if I’ve got my eyes closed and I’m trying to let my mind NOT focus on the clock, how do I know when his time is up (so to speak)? I was thinking about programming a four-minute time that ends with a chime into my i-pod, then I can plug it into my husbands portable speaker and take it into J’s room. That way he knows when the time-out’s over, and well, so do I.  I could also do a piece of music. I’m a huge fan of Loreena McKinnit and her stuff lends itself to meditation quite well (in fact I listen to her when I’m walking on the trail, it helps me relax, and not think about getting eaten by mountain lions). Any other suggestions?

Facetime.

by mollykl

When I lived in Portland I would, when I could afford it, get a facial. I didn’t have rosacea at that point, just bad skin, and it was a treat. I’ve always worked on my feet, and with people, and with that, as some of you know, comes stress. It was nice to get to spend 90+ minutes doing nothing and having someone take care of ME.

My favorite place I can’t remember the name of, but I remember the esthetician. Jenn was actually a friend of a co-worker, and when I met her she seemed kind, so I decided to give her a try. Now, I’ve actually been to esthetitians who have a. berated me for the state of my skin, b. said, “Oh. Um. Well.” when faced with the fabulousness that is my scar-laden, make-up free self or c. simply acted like I was the furniture. Jenn was a revelation. She was kind, she didn’t lecture (yes, I know I’m supposed to wear sunscreen, I DO wear sunscreen, thank you very much), she just, well, took care of me.

I found out today, thanks to Facebook, that she’s been studying psychology, and it makes so much sense. She was always such a caring person with me, and I was just a client. We were never really friends, just “friends of friends”, but, geez, it’s been nearly 10 years since I had a facial from her, and I still remember her fondly. That says something.

Amy Wechsler, or should I say, Doctor Amy Wechsler, is both a dermatologist and a psychiatrist (apparently one of only two in the country). This seems to be an expanding field, figuring out that what’s going on in your life, and your brain, and, well, your soul, is going to affect your body.

Maybe Jenn just knew that years ago, or maybe she’s just a naturally kind person. Whatever the reason, I’ll always be grateful.

 

Balance.

by mollykl

My mother would surely blame this on what she terms my “basic pessimistic nature”, but I never count on everything to go right. Oh most things can go well, but one aspect of life has got to suck. I’ve decided to think of this as a matter of balance. Just like everything does not always suck at the same time, everything cannot always be great at the same time. Or, to quote some comic book from the 90’s, “There is no light without dark.” (I don’t remember which one, but it sounds suspiciously like something from a Marc Silvestri book)

So I figured out today that the areas of my life that I pay attention to are:

1. Son J. How he’s doing at school, how he’s behaving at home, his general welfare.

2. Husband J. Are we getting along? Am I cursing his name under my breath?

3. Me. How am I feeling? How’s my skin? Am I stressed out? Blissful?

4. Work. Does work go smoothly, or do I burst into tears?

5. The Red Sox. Winning? Losing? Above .600?

Yesterday we had a visit from Weights & Measures, which to be honest, we dread. No need to dread. We got 100%. Figure that out people. Over 42,000 sku’s in the store, and we only have to get 3 wrong to fail. That’s some margin. 100%. I literally whooped with joy on the front end. I swear every checkstand went silent and I was jumping up and down grinning like an idiot. So I’m enthusiastic. So sue me.

And then today I kept son J at home. He’s been having a tough time in school: acting out, being loud, the whole she-bang. I have the day off, and I was going to stay home with my Andrew Grant novel (which I’m loving by the way) and maybe get some IPL time in. But instead I decided to spend the day with J. And what a day it was.

We went to Cosumnes River Preserve and saw lizards, cranes, dragonflies and even a skin a snake had shed! We walked for a mile, and had a great time. Then we stopped at the Nugget in Elk Grove and said hi to some people and had a latte (Jen was there – woo-hoo! She makes the BEST lattes) and an apple juice and a croissant. Then we hit the library where J picked up 5 books. And then, miracle of miracles, he took a nap. Now, he hasn’t actually done this in a long time. He slept people! I had to wake him up! We made a pine cone bird feeder and played with the neighbors. He even went over to their house to play! Gasp! Shock!

And while he was at the neighbors I looked at the Red Sox site. And they lost to the frickin’ Padres.

It’s all a balance people.

Addendum

by mollykl

Son J is having some hard times these days. Not behaving at school, being openly defiant, the works. He’s actually been quite good at home, with only the occasional time-out. I’m quite tired of the teachers glaring at me when I pick him up and of course I’m taking this all WAY too personally (hey, it’s what I do) as a reflection of my parenting skills.

It’s taken an afternoon of stressing out and wondering what to do, and talking with husband J and son J (who I try to rationalize with, and to whom I may have actually used the phrase, “Do or do not. There is no try” when it comes to behaving well) before I could calm down. Calm down and realize that, oh yeah, life isn’t perfect.

‘Cause apparently I didn’t get it the first time around.

Perfectly imperfect

by mollykl

I have a job where I’m expected to be perfect. Not 50% of the time, not 75%. 100%. Period. Now,  we usually take off about 500 items each ad day. One ad day I missed a line of jams, so six sku’s. Let me do that math for you: that’s an error of .12%. In case your screen’s a little fuzzy I’ll repeat POINT ONE TWO PERCENT. And that was a major incident.

That attention to detail is actually why I wanted the job. I’m one of those weird psuedo-overachiever people. I don’t need to be the best at everything, but I want to do my best at whatever it is I happen to be doing at that moment. I’m a so-so poet, a horrible singer and a clumsy dancer. I laugh too loud, talk too much and always look like I spilled something on my shirt – clearly I don’t suffer because of those things. I appreciate why my job needs to be so detail oriented and so demanding. But it’s also made me think about perfection in general and how bloody masochistic it is.

You can, quite literally, kill yourself trying to be perfect. I know…I used to have high blood pressure. I’m shocked I don’t still.  Yeah, for those who haven’t known me for very long…I used to be worse. I’ve actually managed to control a lot of the anxiety with, among other things, yoga, meditation, massive amounts of ashwaganda, not so massive amounts of scotch, and a weird vaguely ocd habit of making lists to calm my brain.

So yes, I’m doing better, but everyday is still hard.

As I mentioned there are a lot of things that I can easily “not be perfect” about, but I can focus or be consumed by other things. I give you, my closet:

Yeah, this is pretty much what it always looks like. Like the clothes separated by color and style? Here’s the thing: even though I spent weeks deciding on the color of paint, it’s not quite right, and I want to repaint it. Because it’s not perfect. And notice the splotch of blue up on the ceiling? I slipped. I notice it every day.

My books shelves are a constant source of anxiety. If I arrange them by the Dewey or Library of Congress system then they won’t be visually perfect; if I arrange them so they are visually soothing, then all of my books on World War Two won’t be together and that just doesn’t make any sense, does it? I’m currently in the process of organizing my books on my Kindle in Library of Congress order. Seriously, who does that?

This is our bed, made by husband J:

This our bed re-made by me:

This is our bed perfect, that is, with freshly washed sheets:

Can’t really tell that much of a difference can you? Can’t tell any difference between pics 2 and 3 at all, right?

Perfectionism is its own brand of masochism. Sadly  though, the pain never ceases. You’re never going to be perfect: there’s always going to be something that you did wrong, or could have done better. I don’t know why I keep trying, because it’s not going to happen. Part of it is habit, like the list-making thing. It calms me down to have my clothes in order and have the bed made the way I like it. I keep going at work because, well, it’s my job. Every mistake I find and fix is one less mistake, period, and I appreciate that.

But I think it might be time to accept that perfection is not only an unrealistic goal, but a cruel one.

Waste Not, Want Not, End.

by uneasyrhetoric

We didn’t quite make it. We ate the carrots this evening. The tomatoes were part of a puttanesca sauce yesterday; the turnips became turnip chips. Turnip chips are surprisingly good.

The watermelon remains. I’m a bit concerned it is rotten inside. I’ll cut into it tomorrow and see.

    3 ears of corn
    2 heirloom tomatoes
    strawberries
    carrots
    watermelon
    green leaf lettuce
    Tokyo turnips

Waste Not, Want Not, Day 3

by uneasyrhetoric

Day 2 was a bust. Didn’t get into the veggies at all. Went to a baseball game instead and ate hot dogs. The kid may have finished off the strawberries on day 2; can’t be sure.

Day three was better. We finished off the strawberries by just eating them. We dug into the lettuce, eating about half.

    3 ears of corn
    2 heirloom tomatoes
    strawberries
    carrots
    watermelon
    green leaf lettuce (half done)
    Tokyo turnips

Waste Not, Want Not, Day 1

by uneasyrhetoric

Three ears of corn were soaked and cooked on the grill. They had a lighter flavor than other organic corn we’ve had already this year. Less sugar content perhaps?

Most of the strawberries found their way onto a little strawberry ice cream. A few are left in the refrigerator.

Items remaining;

    3 ears of corn
    2 heirloom tomatoes
    strawberries (a few)
    carrots
    watermelon
    green leaf lettuce
    Tokyo turnips

How do you suggest we prepare our veggies?

The one-week vegetable (and fruit) challenge

by uneasyrhetoric

Greetings, readers of Bold Fortune! You’ll note that your normal writer did not produce this post. I am a “guest” writer, generally known as “J” or “husband” on this blog. I have a blog of my own, but it languishes.

This week, we will eat our veggies (and fruit) and we will blog about it here. Each week, we receive a small box of fruits and vegetables from Farm Fresh to You–an eclectic mix of organic munchies. And each week, we end up tossing about half of it because we don’t bother to try to eat it. This week will be different. My goal is to find a way to prepare and consume each of the items we received, before next Friday. If we can keep doing this, we can justify the expense. If we keep throwing out our food, we might as well be spending less money at the supermarket.

This week’s haul proves to be, mostly, stuff we normally eat:

    3 ears of corn
    2 heirloom tomatoes
    strawberries
    carrots
    watermelon
    green leaf lettuce
    Tokyo turnips

The turnips are the odd vegetable out.

Blog posts about how we used our box will begin: Waste Not, Want Not Day X.

Just. Don’t.

by mollykl

I can’t put it any better, so here is Deanna Raybourn, commenting on the “what the hell are they thinking?” behavior of certain men these days:

“So this latest political scandal has got me to thinking about the differences between the sexes and how perfectly clueless some men really are. Someone should pen a memo to the politicians and sports stars and actors who think that sending pictures of their genitals is a good way to say “I care” to a woman. Because it really, really isn’t. There should be a heads-up list of Things Women Don’t Like. And here are a few things that should certainly make that list:

*The aforementioned pictures of your junk. It’s tacky. It’s common. It has no class, no style, and no respect. Women do not think it’s hot; it makes us POINT AND LAUGH AND TELL OUR FRIENDS. Or it gives us something to hand over during a federal investigation. Think about it.”

Really. Just. Don’t.