Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 14 - a non-fictional book

I recently, and by that I mean - in the last 13 months since baby boo was born, read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. It was a case of truth is stranger than fiction! A good read though, captivated me and kept me reading despite the sleep deprivation and the amount of housework piling up while caring for my dear LO.

I grew up in the country without much in the way of worldly possessions. Sure I had a bucket of Barbies to call my own but I didn't have the trendy toys like a Cabbage Patch Kid, and for all intents and purposes we were "latch key kids" coming home after school while my parents still worked. I learned to cook dinner and do the laundry at a young age and on Saturday mornings while my parents worked (they owned their own business that was open 9-12 on Saturdays) we had a list of chores to do - clean house, feed the chickens, collect eggs, cut the grass, etc. But we certainly didn't grow up in poverty or neglect. Jeanette's story is not just of poverty and poor parenting style, but of survival...of flight or fight...she was a fighter. She took what was handed her - Nothing! - and turned it into something. She not only survived but made something of her self.

I believe the driving force of her success is her ability to forgive and ever be the optimist. These are two characteristics that I highly value and do my best to posses and utilize in my life. Without these two driving forces she would have found herself sucked into the crazy, emotional, substance dependent world her parents enveloped her in. She was able to forgive her parents for their neglect, and selfishness and believe in the possibility that dreams can and will come true, that there is a silver lining.

Beleiving that things can and will get better is something that I hold onto dearly, no matter what challenge comes my way, I understand that I can grow from it if I embrace it rather than run away from it or let it get me down. Believing that the cup is half full keeps me from focusing on what is missing. Some people call it faith, others optimism...I just call it life and choosing to live it.

Jeanette's story is powerful, moving and entertaining. As I said in the beginning, there are times when life is stranger than fiction and hers certainly fits that bill! Between her mother's apathetic attitude towards, well, being a mother and her father's genius but un-executed schemes there is no shortage of WTF moments. A worthy read for sure!

Friday, May 6, 2011

On my own...

Maybe it’s the weather (it’s a bit gloomy out after having been sunny and warm yesterday) or maybe it’s the week’s worth of eating lunch on my own but I find myself being introspective today. I am hearkening back to my University days (that could also be because the College radio was playing “retro-tunes” which were cutting edge when I was in University – boy does that make me feel old!) when I sat alone in the University Centre eating lunch for the 2nd week in a row…thinking to myself, “I need to make some friends.”

While I do have several “work friends” I don’t seem to be in any of their circles and am not called upon to luncheon. Which leads me to question, why am I not in their circle? I am outgoing and friendly, I make myself known others and introduce myself easily. Many have commented that I know a lot of people here at the College, and I do. But I don’t really. I know them as acquaintances, familiar faces around campus that I have interacted with for one reason or another, but I’m not really their lunch buddies and I don’t see them outside of work related activities. SO I am left to my own devices and sit lonely and worried during lunch hours as they pass.

Do I need to be more, I don’t know, something here? More friendly perhaps? More open, giving of myself? When people ask me how things are going I usually give the standard fine because I don’t want to bore them with the troubles in my life, the details that are boring and mundane or overwhelm them with the ABC’s that are the ups and downs of living with a sick mother, a husband in full time school and two little kids.

Maybe I need to be less? Maybe I overwhelm people and leave them thinking – “Whoa, stay away from her, she’s too much!” Maybe they didn’t want to hear about Mom being in the hospital, or that baby boo’s allergies haven’t let up yet? Do they really want to know that my life is a whirl wind of activity and I’m stressing to fit it all in?

What do I need to do to alleviate this lonesomeness? Maybe next week I will have some lunch dates and feel less isolated, and maybe I will get to know my department mates the longer I am here (it’s only been 7 working days) and have lunches with them. Maybe I won’t feel it as much another day as it will be bright and sunny (I can dream right?!) and I’ll make a point of not listening to the retro tunes playing! Finally, maybe I will accept that alone time is good; I rarely get it at home anyway! Maybe AF is on her way and that's all this is...damn her for ruling (and ruining) my life!