Jan 29, 2010

From the Underachiever's Manifesto (II)...

"...Let us all join hands and do less together. Then maybe let's all take a nap...

...Constant comparison with people who are smarter, more successful, and more beautiful than we are breeds frustration and jealousy. Striving is suffering...

...If there isn't at least one important person in your life who thinks you're living below your potential, then you've got work to do."

Jan 27, 2010

From The Underachiever's Manifesto (I)...

"Despite everything you may have heard about striving for excellence, mediocrity is the key to happiness...

...Think globally; underachieve locally."

Jan 26, 2010

At This Moment...

In theory we're heading to the commissary any minute now. I'm putting together the list, looking up recipes to make sure I have all the stuff, etc.

His Highness has his jacket on, as well as shoes & socks. This is good because it is not always the case. The Littler One does not, but when His Highness opened the back door and said, "Come on!" he followed His Highness outside anyway.

Meanwhile I'm getting my stuff together, running the dishwasher, blah blah blah, and I hear fussing, so I check outside. I'm thinking the Littler One is motoring around on the deck, crying 'cuz it's cold, right? No. Well, yes, he's crying because of the cold, but he has made it all the way to the end of the deck, down the 2-3 steps, and into the grass.

Do I go rescue him? No. I come back & start writing a blog post. No worries though, he made it back inside and is now at my feet, asking me to pick him up, and give him a hug, and for the love of all that is good to please warm him up a bit.

I'll be home later to accept my Mom of the Year trophy...

Jan 9, 2010

It's Really Not That Bad...

I'll go out on a limb and confess that I really don't like the Cat Daddy's current work gig. I mean, I'm fine with most of it. What he does is fine; missileering doesn't bother me. Other than the wind, I like Cheyenne pretty well. I really like the people we're meeting and the friendships we're building.

The part that I don't like is the being gone 6-8 times per month. There are even some months where he's only gone 5 nights per month. In theory it's really not that bad. In practice it drains me. Some days are better than others of course, and there are some where he gets home and I am cheerful, and peppy, and rarin' to go. More often though, he comes home and I have a bit of a blank stare and can't seem to comprise a coherent thought.

I feel like I should be able to handle the overnights better than I do. Among people who have spouses that go out to the field, I actually have it pretty good. There are some whose spouses are out in the field for three nights at a time, or more. And then of course those with the deployed spouses...4 months, 6 months, a year, or more. And then those who are single parents all the time. In the big scheme of things my 5-8 individual nights a month isn't bad at all.

But somehow creating perspective based on quantity doesn't make me feel better. And then I feel worse for not feeling better. And then I feel really really bad, because it feels like I'm the only one who can't seem to get with it and just feel better.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one, though. That's why I insist on continuing to be honest about the hard parts. Not to be difficult. Not to complain. Not to feel sorry for myself, or to try to get other people to feel sorry for me. Mostly I do it because the thing that helps the most (other than immediate & complete relief from all things painful, difficult, or otherwise uncomfortable) is knowing that I'm not alone.

When I have taken the risk of this honesty there are those who have said things like "suck it up," "I have it harder so stop fussing," "Someone, somewhere has it harder, so stop fussing," "It's not so bad," and so on. But along the way there have also been those who have said things like "It is/was hard for me too," or "I'm there right now too," which sound an awful lot like "You're not alone." From there it's a very short trip to "You'll make it through," "It will get better," and "I'm here with you."

Which really does help...

Jan 4, 2010

Holly & Jolly...

This year we spent Christmas here in good ol' Cheyenne. The original plan way back in September was to spend Christmas in lovely and warm Phoenix, but when the Cat Daddy requested time off they were all, "Sorry, no-can-do. We hear Phoenix is nice at Thanksgiving time though." So that's how we worked it this year.

Truthfully, as much as I enjoy visiting the fam and all the fun craziness that goes with Christmastime there...I love the relative laid-back-ness that comes with staying home. Our family is still fairly young, so very little is set in stone yet. We're foraging our own traditions, and non-traditions and stuff, so there's lots of room for changing things up year to year. Thus far we've determined that Santa does, in fact, visit our house, and we wait until Christmas morning to open all the presents. Santa was a little anemic in the area of filling the grown-ups' stockings this year; I think that's something he needs to work on for next year.

We have also decided that if Christmas dinner is at our house, and if it consists of a giant hunk of meat (I'm still pulling for tamales one year), then that hunk of meat is to be a roast beast of a bovine nature. Rib roast is preferable, and medium rare is a must. While Christmas Eve dinner is always Mexican in Phoenix (bean burro, enchilada-style), it's open to interpretation in Cheyenne. This year we did Red Lobster, which was a fun, albeit slightly spendy change from our norm. There are differing schools of thought on the quality of the seafood at Red Lobster, but keeping in mind that we are in the middle of the country, rather than either coast, it is reliably decent (but I do miss the fish & chips--pollock!--at the 99). To be sure, there's no way one would end up with, say, cheese-filled fish sponge squares, that's all I'm saying.

Now the really different part this year was church. I'm a fan of Christmas Eve services, and being my normal, nonconformal and slightly-rebellious self, I tend to enjoy services that are a little bit different. Shake up the norm a bit, you know? Our church here did have a Christmas Eve service, and I'm told it was quite nice, but we switched it up a bit and attended the Methodist church.

It turns out there is a (very small) part of me that enjoys a little bit of tradition and liturgy, and probably the single event that triggers that very small part is Christmas. Lately I'm liking a little bit quieter, more contemplative time for celebrating Baby Jesus. And I was really hoping for some handbells.

Alas, to hear the handbells we'd have had to wait until the 11pm service, and that's just crazy talk, so we settled for the choir, brass ensemble, and a real friggin' pipe organ.

I used to hate the organ. Growing up it always coincided with boring, old-people dirge music, which was a total drag. So either I'm turning into an old person who likes boring dirge music, or I'm hearing better organ music, because I really enjoy it. I sure hope it's the latter. It could be that I've gained an appreciation 'cuz I have a good friend who's a hardcore organist. And as a drummer, I can certainly appreciate the skill required to play an organ. I use all 4 limbs, but I only worry about rhythm and dynamics. I can throw stuff like melody & pitch right out the window. Organists have both hands, both feet, several keyboards, millions of pedals, and about two billion buttons to choose from, in order to create just the right sound. That's some serious coordination, right there.

Regardless, it was beautiful. The reverends wore robes, and we got to do responsive readings, and at the end of the Bible reading the reverend said "This is God's word for God's people." No, wait; I think it was in the passive voice--"The Word of God for the people of God." Or "the Lord" instead of "God," maybe? Whatever...you get the point. This was all interspersed with carols, the best part being Silent Night at the very end. The choir came out & stood in the aisle, holding candles.

They usually give everyone a candle & shut out the lights & stuff, but due to some major construction they've got going the fire-supression system was out, & I think the fire marshall out the kibosh on the full-candlelight. I was bummed because I do enjoy my own little dose of fire, but the no-sprinklers thing was certainly understandable. And "Silent Night" was still quite lovely and special the way they did it.

As for Christmas itself, we reveled in the festivities, opening presents from family, but not from Santa because he doesn't wrap the presents he brings to our house. We had a turkey dinner with our Ft. Collins friends (and their whole fam-damily; it was faboo) & saved the roast beast until the folks visited a couple days later.

All told, a very nice holiday...

Jan 2, 2010

Back In the...

It's been over a month since we went to Phoenix, and almost a month since we returned. We were gone two weeks and one day total and while not a totally crazy whirlwind, it was pretty busy (and fun). We had lunch with old friends, hit the home church a couple times, had a little birthday party for His Highness (3!), spent lotsa time with the fam, and I had a fun evening of wine and tasty treats with some of my most warped and fun friends. OK, I didn't actually drink the wine--I'm all bark and very little bite when it comes to the imbibing--but the berry pie more than made up for that.

The big event for the Cat Daddy and His Highness was a quick trip to Disneyland with Mom-In-Law. Yes, the Disneyland. Why did I not go to Disneyland, you ask? Kind of a long story, but basically I wasn't ready to do Disneyland with the Littler One, who still has a lot of feelings and such. It worked out well though, as both His Highness and Mom-In-Law have December birthdays, so it was special for both of them. And they brought me presents.

The big event for me was running the home church's 5K. In a word, it went great. I didn't trip, fall, strain, or sprain anything. I also didn't win anything, but I wasn't too terribly far back, either. The winner (my lovely friend the Marathoner) came in at 20 minutes and something. I came in at darn close to 25 minutes flat, putting me at just over an 8-minute-mile pace, which I'm pretty pleased with.

Since getting back, regular life's been the crazy whirlwind, what with the holidays, and work-work, and then of course the husband and kiddos to look after. And my moms' group. Somewhere in there, in theory, I do chores. One of my New Year's resolutions is to move chores from the domain of theory into actual practice. Not a lot, mind you; just a little bit. But that's a story for another post.

In the interest of posting something rather than nothing, I've been toying with writing quicker and editing less. Either you will readily notice the difference and I'll need to apologize for the decreased quality and interesting-ness, or you'll think "What is she saying? It sounds the same as it always has," in which case I'll need to retroactively apologize for the whole shebang since 2005.

Or maybe I should just shut up and keep writing...