So I haven’t blogged for a very long time. Is it because I’m too busy? Nope. I actually have plenty of time and great balance in my life. I work part-time so that I can take care of things at home, spend time with Rob and Jack and the rest of my family and not feel like every second of the weekends needs to be spent cleaning and doing yard work. I guess the real reason I haven’t blogged is because I’ve been too busy living my life and I forgot just how much I would like writing to be a part of that.
Yesterday my older sister and I stopped by my grandparents to visit for a bit. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I have the coolest grandparents. The last time I blogged, I wrote about it actually. My grandpa has grown softer and more emotional over the years and there is pure joy in his face when he sees us. The conversations with them are some of my favorite. Partly because you never know what’s going to happen when my grandma opens her mouth. Yesterday, for example, we were talking about our prisons being overcrowded and how putting drug addicts there is not the answer for rehabilitation (no brainer, I know). My grandma’s solution? Drop them from a plane into the west desert. You know, quarantine them. And, maybe shoot a couple that deserve being shot. I know, it sounds terrible, but if you knew her you would understand. And then you would quickly type her famous words into your phone so that you can write about them the next day.
Anyway, the point is that once again, I’m reminded that these are the moments to cherish. There is so much tragedy and sadness in our world. People are being shot at church in the most privileged country in the world and it’s not by scary-ass terrorist groups. No, it’s because racism is alive and well. There are people in 2015 that still can’t marry the person they love (it’s 2015!). None of it makes any sense to me. I always come back to the same answer; accept people, love them and let them be who they are.
And even though the world is far too complicated and I’ll never understand why terrible things happen to people everyday, I’m holding out hope. Hope that I can make a little bit of difference in the lives of the people around me. Hope that life can be simplified and enjoyed as it should be. Hope that people can follow their dreams and find real joy. I know, I sound like a total dreamer who needs to get in touch with reality, right? Oh well. Instead of saying it’s not possible, I’m going to give the answer that my beautiful niece always gave me…. Maybe. Maybe it is possible.
Sometimes I let my Andrus (my mom’s side) anxiety hole up in my chest and stay for way too long. I start asking myself what my future holds and oh god, what if this company doesn’t hire me and do people think I’m a loser? I get caught up in the crazy talk in my head and it makes my heart beat fast and I wake up with a knot in my stomach, a knot which initially I don’t even know why I have until I remind myself that oh yeah, you have a lot to worry about! But then I realize that life is good and everything is going to be just fine. I mean yes, if I spend enough time thinking about the state of our country politically (not because of our President, people!) and all the hate people have, I will probably respond with, “We are so fucked,” but I do recognize that despite those things, my life kicks ass.
Like the other day my older sister and I got to take our grandparents to lunch. Our grandparents, who are on the doorstep of 90, yet are in generally great health and still have all of their teeth! We have this amazing privilege to spend time with these amazing people and their amazing teeth! They are genuine people who make me laugh and make me feel proud to be their granddaughter. And you know what my grandma did the day after our lunch? She called me on the phone to say “thanks again” and that they had such a great time. She told me that when you get older, these are the things that matter, these are the things you look forward to. That is what matter, people. Spending time with the people in your life. Yes, they may be crazy or neurotic or whatever else, but they are your people. And actually, it’s kind of better if they’re crazy or neurotic, because then you have material with which to write a book. I mean that’s what I’m planning to do. It’s a total win-win. They can’t be mad because you can be like, “Hey, with all the material you provided, I made a zillion dollars and I am totally going to take you to dinner with some of it!”
All of this “live everyday like it’s your last,” sounds cheesy, but I kind of like cheesy. I’m all about the cheese these days. I’m about telling people you think they’re pretty great and not holding grudges. Awwww, I’m growing up.
So I’m on the hunt for a new job. I’m not sure what that perfect job is just yet. I know, I know, there is no perfect job. It’s important to find the right fit though, ya know? I have done lots of things since entering the workforce 20 years ago. I’ve done the big corporate thing and traveled all over delivering various types of training courses. I’ve tried my hand in the non-profit world and in smaller businesses. Marketing was my thing for about 4 years. And the weird (or maybe sad) thing is I’m pretty decent at all of these things, but I still am not really sure what my “thing” is. I love nutrition, but I don’t have a nutrition degree. So should I go back to school? Ugh. I’m 35 years old and I’m still clueless about my life!
I have to say that looking for a job is somewhat entertaining though. I mean it’s annoying, but the titles that these companies come up with for their open positions are VERY VERY funny. For example, a Nutrition Aide sounds decent, right? It’s not. It’s actually a cafeteria lady. Yep. And a lot of them include the word Specialist to make it sound more appealing. It usually turns out to be very un-special however. Like “Experience Specialist” which is code for talking on the phone all day to upset customers. Which, yes, would be an experience. A shitty one.
Michael Pollan who is like THE foodie intellectual today said (when talking about how to eat), “Eat food. Not too much of it.” And I think that same type of thinking should apply to working. Work hard. Not too much. I mean that seems like a good plan. Find something you love and do it, but not so much that you end up hating it. Not so much that you don’t do anything else. I know that may sound like a very liberal view to my fellow Americans since we live in a country that is all about working lots of hours. People are so proud to be like, “I’m so busy! I’ve been working like 60 hours a week.” That is so sad to me and not even remotely impressive. I like the guy or gal that works smart and has figured out a way to live with less so they don’t have to devote every waking second to earning more money. Those are the people that impress the shit out of me.
So, the job hunt will continue. I’m sure I’ll find something. And one day I hope to be doing something that I really love and impressing the pants off of every single one of you. Bam!
You know those people that are always like, “things happen for a reason?” Maybe you’re one of them. I am the person that is like sure, some things happen for a reason. Other things happen and I’m like, “Why the fuck did that happen?” And there is like no way I will ever arrive at an answer. I don’t think that everything happens for a reason. Some things so do though, and I love when you’re like, yeah, that’s totally why that happened.
The jobless situation I’m in now so happened for a reason. The stress was killing me. I mean it was literally doing bad things to my mental and physical well-being. Beyond that, I think I needed something like this to happen in order for me to once again stand back and say, What is it I really want out of life? How can this change in direction get me there? I wish I could say I have it figured out, but it’s only been two and a half weeks, so be patient. Selling everything (or most of everything) we own and building a small house somewhere somewhat off the grid sounds completely amazing to me, but I know that it’s not in the cards at this very moment. I plan to shuffle and re-deal until it is though.
On a lighter note, look at all this fun Rob and I are having with some much needed time off. Yes, it was chilly. It’s possible we had very little feeling in our hands when it was all said and done, but we did have a good time.
Woohoo, we can’t feel our fingers!
Wow, it’s been close to a year since I last wrote a blog post. And you know what? That makes me sad. Like not just, oh bummer but like wow, is this really how much time has passed? Is life really passing me by (yes) and before I know it I’m going to be an old lady saying, “Where did the time go?” Yeah, I know, everyone says that. Where does the time go! Has it really been that long? It feels like just yesterday that… But I mean I’m legitimately concerned.
Life is hard. Or is it that we make it hard? No, things happen that make it hard. We lose people we love, relationships end or take a turn that leaves people feeling hurt and unwanted, we have to work when we want to play. The list goes on, right? But for so long now I’ve been saying, to myself and out loud to those who will listen, that I don’t want that to be my life anymore. I don’t want to feel like I’m drowning, like I don’t have time for the things or people I love. I don’t want to schedule in fun time. Honestly, sometimes I find myself thinking, okay, I have two hours to have fun and then I must get something else done. What is that? It’s just me, partially, yes. But it’s also that I feel like if I’m not getting something done I’m not contributing. I’m not doing my part. And things need to get done dammit! I’m also drowning. My life balance has been thrown off with job changes and not quite figuring out how to get it all in.
I lost my niece a little over 8 months ago. If you’ve followed this blog before, you may remember me talking about her several times. Like here. There are like a million other places I blogged about her but I’m too lazy to link them all. Of course I am not my sister. Stevie was not my child. She was like a child to me though. She was a big purpose in my life though. Helping her, helping my sister gave me so much purpose in my life. Was it easy? No. Was it the best thing I’ve ever done? Yes. I miss her everyday. She reminds me that life is short. As a friend said the other day, “We are living on borrowed time.” And yet, do I really live like I’m on borrowed time? Not as much as I should. Not as much as Stevie would want.
So what am I saying? I don’t know, really. Maybe I do but I haven’t written in so long that I can’t figure out how to put it all into words. I do know that I need to figure it out really soon though.
If you’ve been reading this blog from the time I started writing it, you have probably noticed a theme with me and weather, specifically summer. I’ve written about my love of summer here, my wish for summer to begin here and my search for it in the dead of winter here. So, I obviously have a thing for this season.
Yes, summer is hot in Utah (especially this summer with the hottest July on record), but it’s not crazy hot. I mean it’s not Phoenix hot or deep south hot. It’s just hot. And personally I think that heat kicks cold’s ass any day. Hot summer days mean perfect summer nights spent lingering on the deck long after dinner is finished. They mean outdoor concerts and family camping trips. Summer days mean outdoor dining at your favorite restaurant enjoying your favorite glass of wine or a margarita under the umbrella.
I find myself feeling nostalgic about a season that isn’t officially over yet because I can see the end creeping in. Kids are going back to school (by the way, why in the hell do kids go back to school in the middle of August?), summer vacations are winding down and the days are getting shorter. Summer always goes by too quickly in my opinion. And although I love Utah’s fall season, I hate knowing that winter is soon to follow.
My summer has been busy with starting a new job in May, which is why I think I find myself daydreaming about a summer that really gets the shit lived out of it. I find myself sitting in my office picturing our family spending the days at our cottage on the beach. No, said cottage does not exist (yet), but I can picture it in my mind. Days are spent reading on our beach chairs and playing with the dog before we enjoy a beautiful summer dinner outside and finish it off by watching the sun go down. I can feel the sand in my toes and the perfectly humid breeze hitting my skin. Ahhhh isn’t that nice? I mean doesn’t that just feel amazing?
You watch; one day that’s going to be my reality. A reality in which the hardest task of the day is going to be finding the most perfect seashell I can. Now that’s living.
Today is May 1. Two days ago it was close to 80 degrees and sunny. Today, it’s SNOWING! Which, by the way, none of the local meteorologists knew anything about. In fact I just heard one of them say, “Well, there may be a few flurries going on right now.” Ummm it’s a full-on snowstorm at my house! Weather has been a heated topic on this blog. As seen here. And listen, I know that complaining doesn’t do much, but I cannot not say something about it.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about maybe not staying in Utah forever. So, maybe it’s time I stopped complaining about shitty weather and moved some place where I won’t have to. Easier said than done, right? I mean if I keep doing the whole freelance thing, I can technically live anywhere that provides me with a decent airport nearby. Rob’s job is a different story. I can dream though. Hell, maybe I can do more than dream. In fact, Rob, my brother and I have kind of a brilliant plan to simplify our lives and live more sustainably. I’m not going to tell you, because we’re still working out the details. Trust me that it’s brilliant though.
The thing is that I want to be a bit of a dreamer. I don’t mean that I want to be unrealistic or irresponsible. I just mean that I want to do more than just talk about an idea. I want to do everything within my power to make it happen. And if it doesn’t, at least I tried. I’m that person that sees a documentary about someone making a dramatic change; someone living on their own terms, and I’m inspired beyond words but all I do is talk about it. I’ll tell everyone I know how great the film was and say things like, “Why don’t we do this?” And then I do nothing.
I’m feeling the need to try. And I know you have no idea what it is I’m even talking about, but send your positive energy my way. I promise to do the same in return.