So, what do you do?


We’ve all been on the receiving end of this question at one time or another in our lives. We’ve all asked it at some point. You’re in a social gathering, you’re introduced to someone, the question inevitably falls out of someone’s mouth.

“So, what do you do?”

I got this question the other day. What goes through my head? Well, I do a lot, I just don’t get paid for it. What falls out of my mouth? Something equally as awkward. “I look for a job.” At least I smiled when I said it, right? I can’t really blame her for the uncomfortable look she had on her face. I really could have phrased my answer differently. I’m sure there are thousands of things I could have said in response to her question. “I’m a content manager. Know anyone who’s hiring?”  That would have been better.

It’s just that whole “so-what-do-you-do” question that takes me off guard. For so long I had my self-identification wrapped up in my job. Now, when I hear that question I still freeze in response because I no longer have my answer. Logically speaking, I know I’m much more than any job I’ve ever held or will ever hold; however, it seems there is still a part of me that doesn’t believe it yet.

Tonight’s blog is more for me than for everyone else. I’m making a list of what I do. Maybe if I put it in writing, my inner McFly will STFU. 😉

So, what do you do?

  • I make custom, blended oils.
  • I handle the social media marketing for my husband’s business
  • I’m learning HTML5 and CSS
  • I can do basic code changes on existing websites
  • I dabble in photography
  • I’m still learning all the cool stuff you can do with PhotoShop
  • I learn and I grow
  • I’m a mother of the greatest teenage boy, ever
  • I’m the wife of the best husband on earth

I could go on, but I think this is enough. I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, and I don’t want you all to get bored. Oh, ok, I’ll add one more:

  • I’m a modest writer. 😉

Goodnight, world.

What was he thinking?

I just got a call from the teen boy’s Spanish teacher today. She informed me he hasn’t turned in any homework for the past 9 weeks.

She said he keeps saying he left it at home and he’ll bring it tomorrow. This, of course, is the same Spanish teacher who backed off from teaching an immersion style class because the parents complained it was “difficult” and their kids didn’t understand Spanish in the first place.

Ok…. on the one hand, the boy is lucky to have a pushover teacher, in this case. But I really wish she’d let me know something sooner. And yes, I’m glad his foreign language classes next year are taught “old school” – immersion style. And they won’t let the kids get away with this “no homework” BS when he gets to high school. They have a mandatory after-school study hall for the kids who forget to do their homework.

But really, 9 weeks? He hasn’t done his homework in this class for 9 weeks? You know, sometimes I really get tired of trying to help him succeed. We’ve been working with him, helping him bring the Algebra grade up, only to find this? What else? Now I need to email his other teachers and ask if he’s behind on other assignments in their classes, too? He’s 14. At what point do I draw the line and remove the net? Do I do it now or keep micro-managing him a couple more years, and see if he can do it by his Junior year of HS? He’s got to be able to do this on his own for college. :: headdesk ::


Things have really gotten out of hand…

I was talking with a friend of mine today, about kids, how things have changed since we were young; you know… the usual chat-chat. The conversation rolled into the education system of today and we both got onto our common rant, then it went on into the zero tolerance policy.

Dramatic Chipmunk Prepares to Rant!

Well, I had to step down from the “standardized test” soap box, just to step up onto this new one.

Now before I continue, I realize that some of you are in the education field. Some of you are teachers. I am aware you do not set the district policies and guidelines, and your hands are tied in these matters. I do not blame the teachers (on either soap box matter). This is an Administration issue.

In 1995, the State of Texas implemented a Zero Tolerance policy for their schools. For those not familiar with this concept, in schools, Zero Tolerance refers to the concept that certain types of disciplinary offenses will not be tolerated and automatically result in suspension or expulsion. For example, a Zero Tolerance Drug Policy means that if a child is caught with over-the-counter Tylenol, the child would be suspended, as though they were caught carrying an illegal drug.

Now, I can see where this was developed with good intentions, but here’s where I have a problem…

Ladies – remember back when you were in school and Aunt Rose would come visit? Aunt Rose was always such a pain. If you didn’t have anything with you (Tylenol, Midol, or other over-the-counter remedies), you could always count on your best friend. You could always tell her what was wrong, and you could always ask for help. You learned to rely on one another. Just the same, when her Aunt Rose came to visit, if she needed anything, she’d come ask you. We learned to help each other. What would happen if a teen did that today? They can’t. The Zero Tolerance Policy prohibits it. What are we teaching our kids? We certainly aren’t teaching them how to rely on each other in time of need. And if they do, heaven forbid, they’re punished. So are we instilling a mistrust of authority while we’re at it?

That’s my rant for today. I’ll step off of my soap box now.

How it Feels to Ride The Menopause Express

As I write, the pain flows through me. I can’t begin to describe the overwhelming feelings of depression, frustration, anger…. I just know I’m so sick of being ok one moment then being a weepy mess. And I’m running out of cheap crockery to throw.

This is what menopause is like. No one tells you about this part of the process. You’ll always hear about the periods you’ll never miss, or the hot-flashes. It’s been nearly three years since I’ve had a cycle. That much is true – I don’t miss that mess. Hot-flashes? Yeah, they’re inconvenient, but easily dealt with. It’s this last stop on the Menopause Express I could do without.

I can’t speak for all families. I came from a highly dysfunctional family. Mom was never comfortable with her age, much less, herself. I remember her being “29” on her birthday for so many years, until I innocently asked her one year why she stayed the same age but I kept getting older. She dodged the answer, but the next year, she was “30”. Mom never talked about “the change” when it hit. She never told my sister or me what to expect, other than, “Oh, my God! It’s hot in here!” And her moods were never stable. But then again, her moods were never stable, so that was hardly noticeable.

My sister is six years older than me. I was always grateful, growing up, to have her around. When puberty hit I knew what to expect because I saw her go through the process. My sister and I were close (and still are); I could ask her questions. She taught me how to shave my legs, and all the other girly-things one needs to know when puberty strikes. But menopause has been different. The change struck both of us at the same time. We have each other to talk to, but no one to learn from.

That got me wondering, “how many women are in this same situation?” By the time they hit that point in their lives, are their mothers still around? If they’re lucky enough to have mom around, what if mom was the type that never talked about these things? If you come from that family, chances are, you aren’t going to go asking mom about what’s happening to your body by the time you’re in your 40’s or 50’s. Are you one to talk about what’s happening to your body?

That was when I decided to start writing.

You’ll be seeing some changes around here

When I started this site, I originally had my focus on menopause/women’s issues. But, really, this is more of a blog of my everyday life while I’m on the Menopause Express. So I’m going to change my About page. I like the original post I had there, so you’ll see another post go up on what got me started writing, or something along those lines, but you’ll also see a new About This Site page.

Change is good, even if I do fight it every step of the way…

Alright…. I’ve done my laps.

Tomorrow will be three weeks since my stint in the ER. I’ve been moping about ever since because I have to go 6 months without driving and how I have “no control” or I’ve “lost my independence”. The past couple of days I’ve found myself wondering why I bother getting dressed. I mean, really, I’m not going anywhere. Am I putting clothes on for the cat’s benefit? Why don’t I just stay in my pajamas?

It’s an easy trap to fall into, and one I’ve been trying to avoid. But I’ve done my laps in the pity pool, y’all. It’s time to get out.

I was going to write a long post about it today, then I saw an article a friend of mine posted. It was titled, “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy”, written by Dana Saviuc (a.k.a. The Purpose Fairy). I read the article and saw a few points that were holding me in this depressing cycle (the need for control, self-defeating self-talk, complaining, resistance to change….).

You can easily follow the link I’ve provided to the article, but I’m also posting the 15 things here, too, giving credit where credit is due. From The Purpose Fairy:

 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel. “By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that. “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly! “A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it. “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place. “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

How can this be legal?

Many of you who follow the news have heard the stories of potential employers asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews. In today’s competitive job market, this appears to be one more thing they’ve added to the list of how they determine if you’re desperate enough to take anything, and work for anyone, holding out until better working conditions come along, or if you’re the type of person who’ll stand up for what they believe in. Unfortunately, standing up for what you believe in is a gamble you take that may cost you the job.

On March 28, The House shot down a proposal that would reform this practice – making it just as much of an HR violation to request this information as it is to request your age or your religion. The proposal was shot down.

Interestingly enough, of all the media coverage we’re getting on this, what we aren’t hearing is that most of the employers requesting the login credentials are law enforcement agencies; which, according to the article I linked to, are not regulated by the FCC and would not be affected by the bill anyway.

Regardless, let’s put this hypothetical situation out there… suppose it is just law enforcement agencies requesting credentials. And suppose the argument used to support requesting Facebook passwords for these job candidates is “in the interest of homeland security”. You know, that’s still a crock, IMHO. It puts the employer in the position of discriminating against the candidate after seeing a personal profile. We’re only human. We judge. The job candidate has a right to privacy and has a right to a personal life outside of the workplace. Also, in this hypothetical scenario, the job candidate is innocent until proven guilty. Why aren’t we treating the person with the right he or she deserves?

Lastly, if this practice stands in one area, it will eventually spread in Corporate America as a common hiring practice. But that’s my opinion, and we all have an opinion.

It’s Electrifying

Some of you may have read, “And The World Goes Sideways”a post I made on what it is like to experience a Simple Partial seizure. Today, I’m writing about the other types of seizures I experience, and the aftermath.

When I experience a Partial Complex seizure, I have no idea anything is wrong. If you ask me a question, I’m unaware my responses are slow. I might even think I’ve answered you already and just stare at you. Then I’ll argue with you that I just answered you, I’m quite fine, what’s wrong with you? Ask anyone who’s seen me go into one – while I’m still conscious, I’ve quite the attitude.

This last seizure I had, no one was interacting with me. I was alone, at a computer, taking a certification exam. I remember sitting at the computer answering questions. I remember looking at the timer on the computer. I don’t remember three hours passing; it didn’t seem like that much time had passed. I do remember panicking that I’d only answered 20 questions in that amount of time. I vaguely remember talking to the receptionist when I walked in. I don’t remember parking my car, but not remembering things is most likely due to the seizure activity itself.  In hindsight, I can see where I must have felt like I was in a vacuum because remembering everything seems like the events are filtered through a vacuum. It’s almost like remembering a dream, but I know it really happened. Then I black out – there is this space where I remember nothing. That, of course, is where my seizure progressed from a simple partial into a partial complex and I lost consciousness.

The after affects are … frustrating.

When one experiences full convulsions like that; well, it’s an electrical storm going on in your brain. Overall, you just feel “fuzzy”. There’s no other way to describe it. For a few days, you feel out of touch, maybe like you’re coming down with something, or over-medicated. It also affects your short term memory. I generally lose events from the previous couple of days. I have to go through my calendar and my “to-do” lists and figure out what really got done. I have to figure out if I made any appointments or not. I have to, essentially, recreate the past couple of days, just to be sure I don’t drop a ball or double-book myself.

And yes, it’s a scary feeling. It does cross my mind, “What if I wake up from one of these and don’t remember my husband? Or my kid? Or who I am?” I have to push that thought aside and just not think about it. If I allow myself to dwell on such thoughts, I’ll drive myself crazy. Sometimes, it’s healthy to take the Scarlett O’Hara approach to a situation. So I’ll just think about that tomorrow.

I was discussing the memory loss, the overall “fuzzy” feeling and after affects from my last seizure with my Neurologist yesterday. He assured me that all this was normal, and compared having a seizure to shock treatment (if any of you are old enough to remember when that was considered a valid form of psychotherapy). I never thought of it that way, but he had a point.

Back in the 1950’s (well before my time), Electroconvulsive Therapy was considered the “treatment-de-jour”, in which electric currents were passed through a patient’s brain, deliberately triggering a brief seizure. The theory behind the treatment is that the therapy causes changes in the brain chemistry that can reverse the symptoms of certain mental illnesses. However, it was being prescribed for depression, anxiety, things that could be triggered by hormonal imbalances, etc… My point is, back in the ’50’s, when it was widely used, I can only imagine how confused and possibly traumatized some of these patients felt afterwards. I would imagine any improvement they showed was probably out of fear of their next session, rather than true progress. I am appalled to learn this treatment is still in use today. Although considered much safer and used less frequently, they still do this?? I am horrified.

Ok, I got off on a bit of a psychotherapy tangent; but that’s what Partial Complex seizures are like, for me.

Letting go

I’ve never been one to let go. I’m happier when I’m in control over what’s going on; or, at least when I have some semblance of control of events.

Next week, my husband is out of town. I have to rely on someone to get me to a doctor’s appointment. I can’t just go there myself, at my schedule, when it’s convenient for me. I have to go way early & wait…. she’s dropping me off and picking me up. At least I have transportation.

Damnit, I feel like an old lady.

I can’t go out and do the things I used to do anymore. I have to make arrangements. And, damnit, it seems like every time I turn around, my husband is giving me this worried look or asking me if I’m ok. Just….. Fuck. I feel so frustrated and so useless. :: headdesk ::