Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why Am I so Morbid?

I think about death too much, I think.

I think about it when I'm driving down the interstate and wonder what would happen if that big semi came into my lane and crushed me into the cement barrier.

I think about it when I contemplate taking a trip by plane.

And I think about it when I think of my kids. Like, what will they say about me when they are grown and I'm gone? And more specifically, when they tell stories about their childhood?

I was recently listening to a podcast and the speaker said, "my mom used to always say..." and I thought, what do I always say? Anything? Will my kids be able to work my words into a charming anecdote later in life?

In thinking on this, I tried to think about the types of conversations I often have with my kids about important stuff. It is usually centered around the being kind to people, the importance of hard work, and teen pregnancy. The last two being dear to my heart.

I emphasize the need to wait in relationships with the opposite sex, and the potential consequences, pregnancy and otherwise. I don't have a go-to phrase though. I try to give real examples of people and situations that have worked hard and achieved much, but again, no catch phrase.

What would those even be? Something witty, probably that rhymes.
I guess I could use old standbys, like "why buy the cow if the milk is free" or "there is no substitute for hard work" but instead I just say, "do you want to end up like ____ and have nothing, or do you want to work hard, go to a good college, and be successful?" or "Don't have sex or you'll end up pregnant too early and have to struggle or else die of aids." Not so cute in an anecdote, no?

Actually I'd like to think it's more eloquent and moving than that, but essentially that's the sentiment. Any one able to help me with this? I need an easy to remember phrase for them to pull from their memory in applicable situations. So that one day, when my CEO daughter is telling her company the secret to her success, she can say, "well, my mom always told me...."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Glass half full.

I've just spent the last hour and a half drinking ONE glass of wine.

It's still half full.

Yes, half full and not half empty because I'm staying positive, even if I don't feel like it. Bathing suit season is nearly upon us! And even though the only people who see me in a swim suit is my family and the moms at the neighborhood pool, I still feel like I should be moderately confident, or at least not want to cry each time I want to swim.

I enjoy unwinding with a glass of wine or three in the evening sometimes. Or most times. But I'm on Weight Watchers again (because I quit last time as soon as I had decent success for some unknown reason) and there are a lot of points in wine.

I'm still enjoying my wine. But I had to eat a light dinner and can only have one glass. So I am making it COUNT!

I am pretty sure the calories I'm expending lifting my glass repeatedly for these teeny tiny sips is probably worth something. But nonetheless I'm still getting to enjoy my treat in moderation.

And that "after" picture I'm anticipating will be worth soo many glasses of wine.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Stress is interesting because it seems to always be around no matter what. It's always relative. When things are going smoothly you'll find some minute issue like a weird sound your washer made this one time and blow it into a "I can't sleep because I just KNOW that machine is going to go out again and I can't throw more money at it to make it go away right now" situation in your head.

Maybe that's just me.

When things are hectic and stressful you don't take time to reflect on last week when all you had to worry about was your washer.

Full calendars, college deadlines, and work to-do lists a mile long... but this is the easy part. My brain needs to remember that so I'll be able to cope when real stress hits. Like a job loss or health concerns. Until then I will be over here freaking out about that weird smell in the garage.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

On Flying.

As I talked about in this post I have been really afraid of flying.

Like, panic attack, sobbing, large amounts of vodka, and annoyed stares of small children and reasonable people traveling with me SCARED.

I recently spent probably two weeks of my life that I can never get back being anxious about a short trip to Utah for work. Knowing I had no choice but to fly, and desperately wanting to be a normal person able to travel, I worked on "fixing" myself.

I listened to podcasts, scoured the internet for helpful articles, and analyzed my brain for the broken parts to try and overcome them.

I decided I needed to go to the doctor to get help, since I was traveling alone and needed to be sober enough to find my connecting flights, plus getting intoxicated right before meeting colleagues is generally a pretty bad idea. 

In the doctor's office, I read some "overcoming fear of flying" articles while waiting for my turn.  Which led to genuine concern on the nurse's face when she took my blood pressure once I was brought back. They prescribed me a low dose of a helpful medication to ease my anxiety during flight.

I took four separate flights in two days, with one day of meetings in between.  I swallowed my tiny pill, made friends with my neighbors on the plane, brought plenty of magazines and audio books, and repeated to myself one of the most helpful statistics I read: there are allegedly 30,000 flights per day. Of all the people on all those planes, every single day, what are the chances MY flight will be noteworthy?

Another thing that really helped was closing my eyes and pretending I was on a bus traveling around Disney World. Busses are bumpy rides! And a plane is pretty much like a bus (just unnaturally high above the Earth of course) and statistically safer!

But those little tactics I used weren't all I needed to get me through. I needed to get outside my selfish mind and see the world around me.

On my first flight of the day, I sat next to another nervous flier who was traveling home from a funeral.  On my second flight, I sat next to a man going to the hospital to visit his son, who had just been in a car accident.

I realized that all around me on those planes, and in those airports, were people with much bigger worries than mine. Flying was the least of their concerns. And it really made me stop and appreciate how truly lucky I was to only be traveling for positive career reasons, and not for any devastating personal reasons.

A couple days before I left, I noticed a weird rash on my side. I was so distracted by the upcoming flight I didn't pay much attention. But within a few days of coming home it really was bothering me. A little internet research led to the diagnosis of shingles. Which apparently young people only get from stress.

Not only did I waste ridiculous amounts of time worrying about these flights, I also gave myself a painful rash. All for a pretty insignificant, statistically safe, trip on a plane.

This experience was awesome, because I really feel like it led to me dealing with my fear. I will not allow myself to waste any more of my life on such insignificant worries, and am fully ready to fly again. And am also fully ready to stop having this itchy, burny rash. :)