Personalization and Common Courtesy

In this day and age, it appears personalization and common courtesy are things from a bygone era. People are all about instant gratification and instant communication . . . Unless responding to an invitation.  Seriously, can someone please tell me why it appears to be so friggin’ difficult to pick up the damn phone, send a bloody email or text or even drop a notecard/postcard in the snail mail stating whether or not you will be in attendance at a damn baby shower.  

This holds true for family, too.  I had to friggin’ send a damn text to find out if (two of) my sisters or nieces will be in attendance. Forget the stepdaughter or stepdaughter-in-law.  I never expected them to show up.  One is newly single and is trying to get her life back on track. The other one? Well, I am not worthy of anything from her.  

Oh and then there’s the whole she’s pregnant with a girl.  I feel sorry for her husband and their two sons.  Now that she has what she wants, the other three will be kicked to the curb. Mark my words.  She’s all about herself and what she wants.  She really doesn’t engage with her children. The stepson does.  

Whatever.   Not my monkey. Not my circus.  

I am over it.  People will either show up or they won’t.  The most important ones have already responded and are coming.  

Two tears in a bucket. Fuck it. 

Death and Loss

in-the-end-these-things-matter-most

I know it has been a while since I was last here.  Things have been going well for the most part. I will be back with a run down at a later time. For now, I share this . . .

This morning I received a text from a friend of mine telling me one of our co-workers passed away on Saturday morning.

This woman was so incredibly strong.  She had been through so much in her brief 55 years.  According to what she shared, she should have died at least seven different times.  She was that much of a fighter.  Each time she came back stronger than ever.  Sadly, she lost the fight.  As she lay in her hospital bed, she sent the following email:

It has bee a pleasure working for ***************** for 31.5 years.  I wish this was a “Happy Retirement” email, but alas it is an “I will meet you on the other side” email.

At this time, I have lost my battle to cancer.  There was so much cancer in my lungs, blood clots, and infection that I could not fight it.  Not that I didn’t try.

Please keep my family in your prayers.

Thank you for your friendship over the years.  It has been awesome knowing you all.  God bless and keep you.

She was so energetic and full of life.  She did manage to fight it off long enough to see her most recent grandchild being born.  She stopped by our office not even two weeks ago!  My heart breaks for her family.

Now she soars above, keeping watch over all of her loved ones.

Life is so precious.  Life is so short.  Tomorrow is never promised.

Just last week, there was a horrendous crash about a half mile from my mom’s house.  A pickup truck was heading east.  A stolen SUV, traveling at more than 100 miles per hour was heading south.  The force of the impact split the pickup truck in half.  The 62 year old driver was killed from the impact.

Just thinking about it gives me chills.  My mother drives that way.  Occasionally, she even ventures out in the later afternoon.  The accident happened at approximately 1540 EST.  Traffic was blocked off for one mile in the north and south bound lanes.  The driver had done heroine earlier in the day.  The SUV was stolen.  Senseless.  That, very easily, could have been my mother.

A friend of mine knew the man who was killed.  She said he always seemed so happy-go-lucky.  In other words, another gentle soul taken way too soon.

I hate to lose.  I hate to lose friends and loved ones even more.

O Loving Father and Savior, send your angels to carry the soul of your servant from this earth to the heavenly place of eternal and everlasting life. Let family and friends who have passed before in faith be reunited in joy with the departed. Forgive any wrongs that have been committed and welcome this beloved spirit into the warm embrace of your unending peace. Amen.

dont-wait-until-its-too-late

Dear Stepson’s Wife . . . 

Dear Stepson’s Wife,
I am a tad bit irritated with you. Whether you like me or not really does not matter. What does matter is your rudeness. How difficult is it to simply say, “Thank you”? I mean, seriously.

I have been trying for the past four years where you and your husband are concerned. I make sure my husband, your father-in-law, knows when all of the birthdays are.  I am the one who orders the gifts or sends the random things out. Do I actually want the credit?  Hell no!  I do it for my husband. I do it because I know he does not think about the little things.

What do I want?  Why am I so freaking bothered and irritated at the moment?  It is simply due to the fact you feel I do not even rate a ‘thank you’ when I wished you “happy birthday” yesterday.  I noticed you had time to thank every other fucking person on the damn planet.

I realize I am only the stepmother-in-law.  I am merely a name on a card to you.   I am not worthy of your time. I do not travel to visit all of you.  The last time we saw each other, you barely had any interactions with me.  At the time, I was still in school so my focus was studying.  I did make an effort to come out and spend a little time with all of you.

While we are at it, would it kill you to send some pictures to your father-in-law?  I try to avoid Facebook, Instagram and most all other forms of social media.  I do not want to have to stalk your damn pages to find pictures for my husband.  I know good and damn well you have prints made. Just because he does not live near you does not mean he should be forgotten.

Whatever.  I am done.  Be glad we do not live near each other.  With how I am currently feeling, I would make you cry.  I would do anything and everything within my power to make you feel like a shitty, lowlife, unworthy person . . . The same way you make me feel anytime we have had some form of interaction.

If you do not like me, just be woman enough to let me know.  It is as simple as that.

Sincerely,

The Other Mother-in-Law

Oh how I wanted to actually say that!  Her birthday was on Friday the 13th.  In addition to sending a text bright and early (for me), I also made sure a birthday card with a gift card was sent.  Not a single word was said UNTIL her husband, my stepson, said something to her.  He did not know she had not acknowledged either the text or the card until my husband asked why she had not even bothered to say a simple “thank you”.  This is what we (as she sent the text to both the husband and I):

Sorry to get back to you so late.  Thank you for the card and gift card!!  You really didn’t have to do that.

That was sent on Saturday, 28 January 2017.  Fifteen full days later.  I get she turned 30 and probably had a shit-ton of stuff happening.  Being downright rude is inexcusable.

I did not reply.  The husband did.  He told her:

Honestly, that was Patti’s doing.  But you’re welcome.

I really am over it.  I will send cards and gifts to everyone except her.  Even though the stepson and stepdaughter really do not like me, they at least are cordial and do say thank you.  All three of us make an effort with each other.

Whether she likes it or not, I am a part of her husband’s life.  Her parents are divorced.  The father lives in Florida.  The mother lives near them.  They make a trip to see her father every. single. year.  Do you think they could be bothered to do the same for the stepson’s?  Granted, we are not rich.  We cannot afford to fly a family of four (soon to be five) from their place to ours.  It is only a seven hour drive.  Eight if they do not go near Chicago.  We would be more than willing to help them out with gas money.  No hotel would be required as we have two available bedrooms and bathrooms.

My husband does not say too much with regard to this.  I know it bothers him that it is up to him to go to visit them.  Financially, we cannot afford to take vacations to see all five children (in four different states).  ANY time my husband takes time off, we lose money.  Thankfully, he is able to see them when his company has shipments to that area.  Otherwise, he would not be able to see them very often and his grandsons would not be able to get to know him.

I am done.  I have forgiven her (for myself not for her).  I have learned my lesson.  She is correct, we did not have to do that.  Going forward, I am no longer going to worry about what to get her for Christmas or sending things for birthdays.  Maybe one year in the future I will resume doing for her; however, as of 2017 it has stopped.

Life is all about what one makes it.  I plan to make mine full of positivity.

A Strong Positive Mind

Days 363 through 367 (and Days 7 through 11) – Day Are Flying By . . . Again

dont-know-if-my-pants-are-feeling-loose

We are 11 days into the New Year. Eleven days! Time has picked up speed for me. There are still not enough hours in a day to accomplish the million and one things needing to be completed.

One of my resolutions for 2017 is to track EVERYTHING I am eating. It may not always make it into the app on my phone but it does make it into my handwritten journal. So far, what I have written has not been too terribly horrible.

By me actually writing everything down, I have noticed I am much more aware of just how much I am eating. The Weight Watchers App is great for figuring out the points. The problem is once I put my phone down, it is more or less “out of sight; out of mind”. I am aware of the points and how much I have eaten but it is not *there*. The written journal is readily available. It is a physical, “in my face” visual of my Daily food intake.

For me, I need that accountability. The same thing with Meetings. I need to attend them. Knowing I have to get on the scale each week is a constant reminder I cannot continue to eat as I used to or want to.

The last week of 2016 was horrendous food-wise for me. I gained four pounds. FOUR. BLASTED. POUNDS! I ate craptastically. I failed to move as much as I normally do. I failed to track. I went to my meeting on Saturday, 31 December and weighed in knowing I had a gain. I owned it. But . . .

I did NOT let that massive gain throw me off or deter me. So many times in the past I have just said, “Oh to hell with it! Might as well stop. I will NEVER lose the weight. There is no point in continuing when all I am going to do is fail!” (There were many other things, but these were the most common.)

This time was different. 2016 was the Year of My New Beginning. 2017 is the Year of My Continuing Transformation. I realized I cannot (and will not) let a number on the scale dictate my success. It is only a number.

What does indicate success to me? Trying on my Mother-of-the-Bride dress I wore to my daughter’s wedding in August 2015 and discovering it is loose on me.

What does indicate success to me? Wearing a dress on Christmas Eve that I bought for a friend’s wedding on 28 October 2016 (the day after I joined Weight Watchers) and having it fit better than on the day of the wedding.

What does indicate success to me? Buying a pair of size 16W slacks to use as an incentive to push just a little harder only to try them on and have them fit fantastically!

I am not losing weight as quickly as I want. My losses are not huge. They are usually about one pound-ish. But it’s ok. A loss is a loss. Little losses add up. Before I know it, they will total a big number.

2017 is the Year of My Continuing Transformation

Even If You Can't Physically See

Day 364 (and Day 8) – And Thus Begins Another Week

time-is-free

Here it is, the 8th day of the month.  We are almost halfway through it already!  Time has been flying by too damn fast!  Two days have flown by and I have gotten nothing accomplished around the house.  I failed to workout again today.  Instead, I went out and spent lots of money I definitely do not have!

I went to my Weight Watchers Meeting yesterday.  I had no expectations.  I had hopes, but no expectations.  I lost 2.6 pounds (1.18 kg)!  I was super stoked to see that!  After a four pound (1.81 kg) gain during the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, I was all the more excited.

How did I celebrate?  The hubby and I went out to eat at T.G.I. Friday’s.  We ordered appetizers and I ate the celery, one mozzarella stick, two loaded potatoes and none of the wings.  I had the Jack Daniels Flatiron Steak and Seasoned Fries.  OH MY GOODNESS!  It is my favorite thing there!  I even ordered dessert (Oreo Madness) but brought it home to eat later.  I did not over-stuff myself.  I did get full enough I was not hungry for dinner.

Today, I spent the day shopping.  I had my brow/lip wax.  From there, I went to Barnes and Noble to pick something up to read while I was eating my lunch/dinner.   After the bookstore, I went to Carrabba’s Italian Grill.  I wanted to make sure I was not hungry when I hit the grocery store.

Carrabba’s has my favorite bread with herb and oil.  I could fill up on that alone!  I ordered a pink lemonade with a water.  I drank more water than anything else.  I had a salad.  By the time my entree arrived, I was able to only eat half of it.  I brought the rest home and will have it tomorrow along with a hefty salad.

I did my shopping for the week.  I still have to weigh and bag my chicken.  I can do that tomorrow.  My plan is to eat large salads for lunches and dinners.  I prefer filling up on the salads.  Salads are something I can eat for the rest of my life.  Very sustainable.

I already have my exercise planned for the week.  I will be doing a Leslie Sansone Walking Workout Monday through Friday.  I am hoping to augment them with a 15-, 20- or 30-minute elliptical workout in the evenings.  I figure I might as well since the damn thing is in my home office and that is where I am Monday through Friday evenings!  It has been collecting dust for far too long.

I discovered Leslie Sansone in November when I was shopping for new workout DVDs.  I wanted something I could do which is low impact, gives me mileage, and I can do barefoot.  The barefoot thing was really important.  I have carpet throughout most of the house.  Wearing shoes while working out on carpet leads to twisted ankles . . . Something I can ill-afford.  So since the beginning of December, I have been doing her workouts.

The pounds are not coming off as quickly as I want them to.  It’s okay, though.  I know if I have a rapid weight loss, I will more than likely see it all pile right back on.  I am eating mindfully.  I am tracking everything in my handwritten Weight Watchers Journal.  I am not so dedicated to the App.  For me, the biggest thing is I am tracking everything I eat honestly in at least one place.

The next two weeks are going to be all about getting my house back to “normal” and preparing for the future daughter-in-law’s visit.  The oldest son will be bringing her home to meet the family.  Suffice it to say, I will be going hog-wild in the cleaning department . . . Again.  Thankfully, I just went through this not too long ago so there is not much I really need to do!

Well, it is almost midnight.  Time for me to hit the couch if I want to get at least seven hours of sleep.  (Yes, I am still sleeping on my couch!  I probably always will.)

#SlowAndSteady  #ProudMemberOfTheTurtleClub  #2017TheYearOfMyContinuingTransformation  #IAmWorthIt

I Am Willing to Change

Day 362 (and Day 6) – All I Have to Say is T.G.I.F.!

I am SO incredibly glad today is Friday!  This has been a short work week.  Just because it was short does not mean it was good!  I struggled with everything today.

The first three days started out sensationally.  I was able to walk the pups each of those days.  They were so happy.  Ever since Thursday, though, we have been unable to walk due to weather.  When the pups are not happy, Mama is not happy.

I am looking forward to next week.  Fresh start.  Warmer weather (even if it will be short-lived!).

#2017YearOfMyContinuingTransformation

#IWILLSucceed

#IAmWorthIt

Day 361 (and Day 5) – Definitely NOT a Tranquil Thursday!

terrible-thursday

I am SO glad today is Thursday!  I did manage to get Leslie Sansone’s “4 Mile Power Walk” completed today.  I thought for sure it was going to be a good day.  It was . . . Up until I got into work.  This is the first day in I do not know how long I was unhappy at the office.

The day got better when I got home and got to see the pups.  They ALWAYS send me to my happy place!  My heart melts EVERY time!

I am SOOOO happy tomorrow is Friday!

2017 is MY Year to Achieve My Goals!