Finding My Way

I’m about to turn another year older (March 26th if you’re interested in sending a birthday shout out my way – no pressure).  I’m totally fine turning another year older.  Yes, because I’m young but also because it feels like this is a time in my life when I’m really starting to figure a lot of shit out.  I’ve always been that person that feels and acts older than their biological age.  Part of this is my nature and part of it is a result of my environment.  The challenges I was faced with when I was younger helped me mature and grow in ways I’m sure I wouldn’t have otherwise (that was a positive, Mom).  And although there are times when I wish I would have been more of a carefree kid, I am who I am because of my experiences.  Despite those experiences though, I’m still finding my way; figuring out where to focus my energy.

Life is hard.  Whether we’re consumed everyday with caring for a sick child or just trying to stay afloat and relevant in our job/industry, it can feel hopeless at times.  I fight with my anxiety and the negative thoughts in my head every single day.  But I’m learning.  I’m learning to focus on the positive and surround myself with people that do the same.  I’m learning to shake off the mean, unnecessary comments (after I vent to my sister about them first, of course) that can get stuck in my head and make me worry WAY too much.  I’m letting go of expectations that are only going to bring disappointment and accept what people are capable of giving.

I don’t expect this to be the year that I figure it all out (do we ever?), but I feel like it will be a year of renewed hope.  A year to worry less and enjoy more.  I’m not planning to jump out of any airplanes (I will never do this) or summit any peaks, but I am planning to be present in my life.  That, my friends, is living.

Wyoming

Last March I went to Paris for work.  This March?  Wyoming.  The truth is that I’m more comfortable here in Wyoming though.  I mean yes, Paris is amazing, but when you have very limited time to spend in a place, it’s better to be somewhere where every person you communicate with can understand you and you aren’t suffering from horrible jet lag.

Getting here took nearly as long as flying to Paris though.  I mean I flew DIRECT to Paris, people!  Yep, direct.  Which means my flight there was like 9 hours.  To get to Riverton, Wyoming I had to first fly to Denver.  Then, I sat in the Denver airport for almost 4 hours before I walked a block outside to the tiny charter plane that would take me to my final destination.  Quick tangent about the charter plane.  Holy scary! I knew it wasn’t going to be good when I saw the name of the airline; Great Lakes Airlines. That just sounds really small town, which is not really what I want when it comes to commercial airlines.  They also kept announcing that we should go to the bathroom before the flight (aka no lavatory on the plane).  My thought was confirmed when I saw the plane.  It seated a total of 16 people and was so loud that I’m pretty sure my hearing is permanently damaged.

Once seated the guy next to me proceeded to tell me a horror story about how the last time he was on one of these charter planes the cabin lost pressure, the air masks came down and everyone on board was pretty sure they would die.  Thanks dude.  How about next time you save your story telling for AFTER the flight?  Holy shit.

So my first stop in Wyoming was Riverton.  Never been before this trip, pretty sure I won’t ever go back.  But my second stop?  Jackson Hole!  Jackson Hole is rad.  I’ve been to Jackson a few times and I just like the vibe.  Plus, they’re having this crazy nice weather which happens to make me very happy because I have an entire day between trainings.  And nothing makes me happier than sunshine.

Tomorrow night I’m headed to a place enjoying a crazy amount of sunshine right now. Phoenix.  Unfortunately I’ll be inside all day wishing I was outside getting my tan on. Oh well, probably better because of that whole skin cancer thing.

The Art of Doing Nothing

There are days when I think I’m going to do a whole lot of nothing.  I’m like, “I’m going to stay in my pajamas all day, watch lots of reality TV and surf Pinterest for hours.”  Then, 9:00am hits and I’m like, “I should get dressed and get stuff done.” It’s a curse, I’m telling you.  Just call me the ‘Queen of Getting Things Done.’ I mean I’m really good at it.  To be honest, by 9:00am I’ve already cooked and cleaned up breakfast, fed the animals, started a load of laundry and vacuumed up lots of dog hairs.

Is there such a thing as being too productive?  Because I think I’d like to diagnosis myself with this rare disorder.  Granted, I’m lucky enough to spend a lot of time at home (without human children) and have the time to get stuff done.  There are days, however, when I wish I would just stop accomplishing already and chill the fuck out.

Or, honestly, I’d like my husband to be able to take a day off work and chill out with me.  I think nothing sounds better than curling up in bed all day, watching movies on the laptop, reading, playing games, scouring every home decor magazine in the house (my favorite activity) and eating.  Yes, all in bed. Of course Jack will need to be right there with us, shedding his many dog hairs, but he’s so cute that we’ll allow it.

Next week I’m on the road again for work, so I suppose that whole day-in-bed thing will have to wait.  Maybe I can convince Rob to do this for my upcoming Birthday though (March 26th for those of you that would like to send me a gift)?  In the meantime, I’ll get some shit done.

“Weather” We Like it or Not

I know I sound like a broken record, but ENOUGH with winter!  Yesterday morning we woke up to it snowing AGAIN, and even though I knew it was coming, I was still pissed.  Winter is just too damn long in the great state of Utah.  Winter is fine for December and January, but then I am done.  Done, done, done and done.

You know what would be really sweet?  To live some place where when you wake up in the morning your boogers haven’t turned to concrete in your nose from the insanely dry air.  That would be rad.  Picking those things out is not easy, people. They get so bad that it hurts to flare your nostrils the littlest bit.  Think of it as trying to pry off a piece of wax that has been sitting for way too long on a sensitive surface. I’ll let you come up with your own sensitive surface.  It should probably be one that is covered with hair.

Speaking of hair, the winter weather has not deterred Jack from digging deep into the snow, finding a turd and then rolling his hairy body in it.  He surprised me with a poop neck just this afternoon. Here’s a picture Rob took of him in the summer. Don’t feel bad for him because we’ve exposed his secret to the world.  I’m pretty sure he could care less.  Considering he is rolling in his own poop, remember.

He just can't help himself.

He just can’t help himself.

I Need a New Joke

So I’m (finally) getting ready to travel again for work.  I have two gigs in March and two in April, so I’m starting to prepare.  Which means that I have a few calls with the client and folks that I work with in coordinating the gigs and then I get to work on making notes and delivering the course in my living room multiple times until I think I have it down.  In other words, I do a whole lot of talking to myself as I click through the slides and pretend like there are 40 people in front of me.

I always like to crack some kind of joke in the intro I give about myself to set a fun, non-stuffy mood (especially important when you’re training pharmaceutical big wigs).  My regular routine sounds something like this, “I’m based out of Salt Lake City, Utah (pause) No, I’m not a polygamist.”  Normally I get a good laugh, but at the course I taught in Basel, Switzerland, I got feedback on one of the evaluations about it.  The person wrote that the joke was “in bad taste and not necessary.” They then went on to ask if I said it for shock value.  Shock value?  Listen, if I wanted to add shock value I would at least get an F bomb in there.

I know that was only one lame ass person, but now I feel like I need a new joke.  I thought about saying something about my daily commute being by horse (since someone once asked if I traveled by horse – obviously, they don’t know anything about SLC), but these gigs are in Wyoming.  So… they may actually travel by horse.

Give me your best Utah jokes, people.  I have no problem pretending like I came up with it myself.  If it’s a hit though, I will most definitely give you credit right here on this near-famous (wink wink) blog.

Poop Talk

At our house we talk about poop.  Some people are very private about stuff like that, but Rob and I are all like, “How was your poop this morning?”  We talk about the quality of our poop and our dog’s poop; if he pooped, what he pooped on and if it was a decent poop.  Jack, the dog, not Rob.  Having a good quality bowel movement everyday is important.  For everyone.  You can google it if you don’t believe me.

When Jack doesn’t drop a turd on a walk we’re all concerned.  Rob will come home and look all worried as he says, “Well, that was weird.  He didn’t poop.”  On his afternoon walk it’s common for him to do what we like to call a “double pooper.” Meaning he goes twice.  And listen, the second one is never good.  It’s always a runny mess.

Today, Jack tried to wrap up his poop before he was actually done which means that a couple of extra pieces dropped out after he had left the squatting position.  And do you know what he did when he saw those little nuggets drop out onto the sidewalk? He ate them.  He seriously ate them.  I seriously threw up in my mouth. Unfortunately, there was yet another turd that hadn’t made its way to the ground. Instead it had become what we refer to as a “dangler.”  It was stuck in his butt beard.  It’s more of a butt mustache, really, but the point is that there was a piece of crap stuck in it.  He just kept sitting down and looking at me, and I was like, “What am I supposed to do?”

Because I am a good mom though, I tried to use the end of the poop bag to brush it off.  It worked eventually, but I did not like doing it. The little dude needs to make a clean break next time.  I am not interested in cleaning up butt mustache danglers.

Now, seeing Jack poop is a daily thing.  The cat, however, that’s a much more private matter.  I mean I clean up all of her poop out of the litter box several days a week, but I don’t watch her in the act.  The other day I walked in on her in her litter box and I honestly apologized.  It was so awkward that I was like, “Oh, sorry.  I didn’t know you were in here.”  Cats are different about stuff like that, I just know it.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

So I’m walking through the aisles at Target the other day when a mom, dad and their daughter pass me.  The girl was probably 7, I’m guessing, and as they pass she says to her parents, “Well, sometimes she calls me a bastard.”  And, of course, I bust up laughing as the mom is like, “Whaaat?!”  I’m assuming this is the first time she’s heard her daughter use such profanity.  Maybe not, but she was clearly shocked, and I thought it was awesome.

I am aware that it’s not really a good thing when your child swears, but you have to admit that it’s hysterical.  My baby sister, who is 10 years younger than me, swore all the time as a little kid.  She even used the swear words in the appropriate context.  At the wee age of about 2, she scolded me for taking a sip of her water by telling me, “You don’t dink my dink, you little bitch.”  Yes, she couldn’t say drink correctly, but bitch she had down.  Years later, when she clearly understood that swearing was not exactly a good thing for kids to do, I may or may not have put a bar of soap in her mouth.  She still talks about it like I’m the worst person on the planet.  Kid clearly needed to learn a lesson though.

I was not really one to be enforcing the whole no swearing thing, however.  I swore like a sailor when I was a kid.  I’m talking on a daily basis.  My dad swore so much that every time I blurted out a profanity I would follow it with, “I’m just quoting my dad.”  Somehow that made it perfectly ok.  One New Year’s Eve I even made a resolution to stop swearing (I think I was like 9), and right at midnight I picked up my pots and pants and yelled, “Happy Fuckin’ New Year’s!”  I am not lying.

Clearly I had a problem.  I changed my ways after I met some wholesome kids around the age of 10 and decided I should clean up my act.  I mean now I swear every fucking day, but you can do that when you’re an adult.  Same with eating cake for dinner should you so choose.

Ask the Pharmacist

So remember that whole nightmare with the chewable birth control?  Well, chewing those things got worse when I got to the end of the pack.  The four little brown pills don’t taste so much like mint.  No.  It’s more like pure ass.  It’s not good.  And again, half the pill ended up stuck in my tooth.  I knew I couldn’t go on like this.

At the pharmacy, I was thrilled to say, “yes” when they asked me, “Do you have any questions for the pharmacist?”  I’ve never said yes.  They called the pharmacist over and I told him I knew it might be a dumb question, but I was wondering if it was OK to swallow the pills even though they’re chewable.  Honest to God, the dude looked at me like I was the dumbest person on the planet.  Instead of reassuring me that this was not a dumb question, he gave the ‘you are the biggest idiot’ look before saying, “Yeah.”

So, the good news is I can swallow the damn pills.  The bad news is the pharmacist is a total douche bag.

Chicken Bone Graveyard

I walk Jack every afternoon, and I’m used to him finding little treasures along the way.  Mainly other dogs’ turds and the occasional Dorito.  There is this one house we often pass along one of our routes that produces something really special though. Chicken bones.  Yep, chicken bones.  Not like one time we saw one chicken bone there.  Jack has sniffed out multiple chicken bones at this house.  I was telling this to Rob and Em the other day and Em was like, “Yeah, I know which house you’re talking about.  He found a chicken bone there once when I walked him.”

Chicken bones and dogs don’t mix so I’m always yanking him away right before he snatches it up in his mouth.  But I’m just really confused about why there are always these bones in the front of someone’s yard.  First, they obviously have a chicken wing addiction.  Second, they have decided that their front pine tree is the perfect place to discard of the bones.  There’s something strangely eerie about it, really.

I think it’s time I organize an undercover investigation.  That or we just set up some cameras one night and wing it.  No pun intended.

I’ll Drink to That

Sorry for my absence.  Somewhere between finishing the cleanse, reintroducing solid food and figuring out how we can afford to drink these juices on a regular basis, I forgot to write.  I’m here now though, and I’m ready to give you the full report.  You know, because maybe you’re curious.  Or maybe not.

When the cleanse was all said and done, Rob and I gave it a huge thumbs up.  Did we have our thumbs up in the middle of day 1?  Probably not.  I mean I may have had a partial thumb up, but Rob was just pissed and really hungry.  I can’t say that I ever felt like I was starving to death.  Was I hungry at times?  Absolutely.  I knew I was getting lots of nutrients though and just kept telling myself, “It’s only 3 days.” That and reminding myself we had spent a shit ton of money on this thing helped me stick with it.

I think the hardest thing to get used to for me was not cooking or preparing food for 3 days.  I am the cook in the family and so a decent amount of my time goes into planning and preparing meals.  It was very strange to not have to make dinner every night.  Instead of sitting down at the dinner table, we clinked our juice bottles together and sat on the couch savoring every last drop, wondering if going to bed at 8:00pm would be too early.

It’s true.  When you’re not eating, you figure you may as well be sleeping.  Plus, if you’re asleep, you don’t have to think about all the food you’re not eating.  And, honestly, sleep is important in all of this.  You really want to make sure you’re getting enough rest.  We didn’t exercise other than walking Jack and just tried to take it easy.  Rob nearly resorted to being a mute for 3 days.  He was so quiet that at one point I asked him if he was alright and he said, “I’m just trying to conserve my energy for work.”  Apparently talking was just too much.

By the time we reached the evening of the final day both of us were like, “We could totally keep this up.  I feel great.”  Part of that might have been the fact that we knew we were going to eat food the following morning, yes.  I think you also just really start to feel cleansed though.  Mentally, it’s a reset.  I mean you should see the amount of produce in my fridge and on my counters right now!  We have definitely started anew.

I miss it now.  Yesterday I broke down and bought one of the $8 juices (yes, they are $8/each!).  I was craving it.  My skin, eyes, hair and nails are so much happier when I’m drinking that stuff.  So, would I do it again?  Definitely.  If you’re interested in knowing more, check out their website:  www.sujajuice.com.  God, I wish they were paying me to tell you this.  They’re not, but I believe in it, so I’m telling you anyway.  I’m a good person like that.