Musings From The Edge

"Not all those who wander are lost" - J.R.R Tolkien

Friday, December 29, 2006

New Year Resolution

I ordinarily do not make New Year's resolutions because the promises I make to myself to diet, excercise, eat better, volunteer more, be a better person etc have gone out the window before the week is over.

But this year will be different. I'm not going to make resolutions exactly, but live by the decision that I am going to take better care of myself overall in the upcoming year. There are many facets to this improved self-care and there are a few big areas that I will concentrate on. One big area is the self talk. You wouldn't believe how often I criticize and berate myself. Or the number of times in a day that I tell myself that I am stupid and a loser. This has got to stop. The negative self talk is NOT helping my self-esteem. I will replace the negative thoughts with positive affirmations, even if I don't believe them. ( ie - replace the "I'm so stupid" with "I'm very intelligent, thank you very much!")

Another aspect that I would like to change is my role as the victim in life. Sometimes I think I stay stuck in current circumstances because it's easier to sit there and complain about being life's victim rather than initiating the changes that I need for myself. Take control of situations and emotions rather than have them take control of me. But changing to a healthier outlook takes effort and a degree of work until the habit sticks. Change can be scary though, especially when that change means rocking a few boats in the family. I've done enough boat rocking to know that the initial shock of change is very uncomfortable...but very worthwhile.

I need to re-establish my support system. I keep thoughts and feelings bottled up and push everyone away. I need to return to the support groups that I was attending and reconnect with the people that care about me and ask for help.

I think most of this depression stems from the fact that I am not being true to myself. I'm ignoring my true self. But what is the truth for me and what is it that I lack in my life? I won't find the answers to these questions until I have the courage to take stock of what's within and make the changes that are necessary.

I believe that taking care of myself will have a ripple effect in all aspects of my life, giving me the confidence to grow and take chances, reach out to friends and have the strength to withstand the challenges in life.

The old habits are clouding my view of what is good for me and preventing me from seeking and embracing my truths. It's time to break the old habits and make room for the new. I think I'm up for the challenge.

Happy New Year everyone.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thirteen Things about CHICKADEE

1) As some of you know, I moved my blog! The short version of the story is that the spam filters on my other blog template were crap and blocking people that had the same IP range as the spammers. AND the spammers were getting around the word verification. So I moved. I apologize for the inconvenience I caused many of you who tried to access or comment on my blog. Believe me, I was very aware of the hassle. I couldn’t even leave comments on my own blog!

2) Christmas was good. I made out with great loot. I received 4 different porcelain bird figurines. Two of the figures were Lenox birds…this chickadee and this parula. I need a new curio cabinet!

3) My hubby bought me a neat little bag that will hold my binoculars, camera, field guide and other gadgets that go along with my outdoor birdwatching adventures. I can’t wait to use it!

4) We bought our godson some matchbox cars for Christmas. I posted on last week’s 13 how he loves to take his little cars and arrange them in rows. Well, that little stinker received LOTS and LOTS of matchbox cars and when we visited Tuesday night there were rows of cars every where you turned. A line of cars by the steps. Another line of cars on the kitchen table…another line on the basement couch…

5) For Ryan (our godson’s older brother) we bought him the book Eragon. If you recall, he’s the one who has been loaning me his Magic Tree House books.

6) Do you have plans for New Years Eve? We usually stay at home, open a bottle of Champagne and watch a movie. We stay off the road to avoid the drunken idiots.

7) But Hubby and I have a fun New Year’s day tradition. Every year we go out to the river and look for Bald Eagles. We began this in 1999 and that first outing got me hooked on birdwatching.

8) A co-worker got me hooked on the TV series “Heroes”. She’s been trying to get me to watch the show since the season began, telling me that it was my kind of show and that I would REALLY like it. I finally watched the series pilot and OMG, what took me so long???!!! I’ve only seen 4 episodes (from the Heroes marathon that SciFi periodically airs) so I’m trying to piece everything together. I don’t know what to think of Claire’s dad. But I LOVE Hero! He’s so cute.

9) We’re having another Christmas tomorrow night. My husband’s brother is in from North Carolina for the next week. My husband’s side of the family are big Seinfeld fans so this second Christmas is going to be known as “Festivus” and my MIL is going to try to find an aluminum pole so that we can “air our grievances”. Bone should appreciate the holiday for he had a Festivus celebration last week with his friends. I’ll be sure to post any noteworthy celebration activities.

10) I’ve been on a Coldplay kick lately. Coldplay’s music is kind of hard to explain, but their songs search for meaning in life, saving the environment etc. The music just fits this phase in my life. If you’re looking for some good music, check the group out.

11) I have been in a time warp this week. I get like this almost every year in the week between Christmas and New Years. All day I kept thinking it was Saturday instead of Wednesday. I don’t know what it is about this holiday week that throws me off.

12) I’ve been thinking about the New Year and what changes I would like to make for myself. I do not ordinarily make resolutions, because I do a poor job of keeping them, but I think this year I will make a few realistic resolutions. I’ve been giving it some thought and I will post an entry about it in the next day or two.

13) And again, please keep my best friend’s (aka my soul sista) husband in your thoughts. He’s serving our country in Iraq right now. They are both wonderful people. Behind every strong military man is a strong military wife. I love you guys!

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Rumble in the boutique

It has been an interesting month here in the retail world. As some of you may know, I work in a small boutique that sells outdoor garden and bird feeding goodies. Since we are a specialized store, our customer base is smaller and to that benefit, we are on a first name basis with a lot of those people. But this time of the year we do get more people who do not ordinarily shop in our type of store, people from the "outside world", if you will.

We've had our share of difficult customers the last few weeks. There have been both the regular customers and non-regulars that have made me want to cry, scream and throttle their necks. But despite these emotions, I recognize some of these experiences as blogworthy material. Here is such an example. I wish I could have been there for this one.

This story was told to me by Mr. Boss and this event took place yesterday:

Woman A walked into the store 30 minutes before closing. She was looking for an ornament for an ornament exchange. After examining all the shiny, sparkly and discounted ornaments, she settled on a birdhouse ornament. Woman B enters the store 15 minutes later and she too, was looking for an ornament to send to a friend overseas. She examines the same tree filled with shiny, sparkly and discounted ornaments and finds a plump Cardinal bird sitting on a tree branch. Woman A spots Woman B's ornament and exclaims

"Where did you find that?"

"On the tree over there." Woman B replies.

"Well, I've got to have that one too."

Woman A went to the tree and wouldn't you know it, Woman B grabbed the last cardinal bird. Woman A goes back to Woman B and tries to bully Woman B into giving the ornament to her. Initially Woman A asked for the ornament and when Woman B refused, Woman A switched tactics and said that she was entitled to the ornament since SHE was in the store first.

Woman A pulled Mr. Boss into the discussion to which he replied:

"Yea, you were in the store first and you had 15 minutes worth of time to look at the ornaments before she came into the store. She found it and you didn't."

Woman B paid for her ornament and Woman A hounded her the entire time, saying "I can't believe you're not going to give me that ornament." Repeatedly.

The ornament was 6.99 regular price and was 50% off. It wasn't a Lenox or other imported piece of art. Get a grip.

I can't wait to see what this weekend brings to the store.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Accomplishments and blessings

As some of you may know, I've hit a rough spell and have been fairly depressed. I wrote about it in this entry on my other blog. (Don't be surprised if you can't access it. Grrr) Not long after posting that, I read Becky's entry on Ponderings and it got me to thinking about the accomplishments and blessing in my life.

I think the biggest accomplishment in my life is that I broke the cycle of dysfunctional relationships. I grew up in a very dysfunctional home and began dating men that were like my father; verbal abusive, unpredictable, emotionally unavailable. I realize that you need to kiss a few toads along the way to better appreciate your prince charming when he arrives, but I know there are women out there who continue their cycle of unhealthy relationships. I'm not sure where I broke the cycle; there was no defining moment, but rather I think that I progressed upward as I painfully grew out of the old habits. I met a wonderful man and have been blessed that he loves me despite my, erm, "eccentricities". I know that I can be extremely difficult to live with at times. I'm not sure what qualities he sees that redeem me from the difficult side of my personality, but I am grateful. He is supportive, funny, intelligent, caring, stable and emotionally open.

Another major accomplishment was getting through the grief of my sister's death. I was in a bad place for a long time after she died. I haven't been the same since her death, but yet her death opened my eyes and made me appreciate how precious life is. Her death brought out a strength within that I did not know existed. Her death made me realize what was important in life. I may not always have the courage to immediately jump into changes, but I do take appropriate actions when I get stuck in a rut...slowly, and not perfectly, but it is done.

Simply acknowledging and working through this depression is another accomplishment. I may not do it perfectly, but I am working through it, day by day. Through this depression I have become acquainted with myself and I'm trying to embrace my positive qualities, though right now in this stage of the game, I'm still filled with a lot of self-loathing.

Another accomplishment I have is the fact that I finished college despite the fact that I struggle with certain academic subjects, even those subjects that interested me were difficult. I would like to continue on to get my Master's Degree, but I'm not going to take that step until I get tested for learning disabilities. That's a whole other topic that I may touch on later.

We are not rich by any means, but my husband makes enough that I can work part time and for that I am grateful, especially during the times when it's all I can do to make it through the day. Career-wise I feel largely unfulfilled, but I am exploring options through volunteer work and have met some neat people through the organizations where I spend my time.

My job is a blessing's not exactly what I want to do with my life, but the flexibility is wonderful and the bosses are okay. It's a stepping stone until I have the courage and strength to take the next step in the career game.

I live in a country that is not in the grips of a civil war, I do not have to worry about where my next meal will be and I have a roof over my head. I may not be 100 % healthy mentally, but I have my physical health.

I feel like crap emotionally, but I know that it could be a lot worse. I just need to remind myself of the things that I take for granted.

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I've moved!

Hi all! In the interest of my sanity, I have moved my blog. I was receiving a large volume of spam despite the word verification filter and the other spam filters on my blog's template were largely a pain in the butt. I had a few people email to tell me they couldn't comment on my blog and even could not access my blog..most likely due to the spam filter.

So I'm going to start over here and hope for the best. It's pretty bare around here right now, but then so is a new house when you first move in. I'll decorate the place once I figure out all the bells and whistles on Blogger.