Monday, March 17, 2008

Give Me Five Monday

Smile Play Dream tagged me with the Give Me Five meme. What a great topic, de-stress.

The prompt last week was: "Give Me Five ways you like to de-stress, relax, wind down or kick back."

Here's what I do:

1. Take a deep breath, counting through the inhalation, holding, and exhalation.
2. Laugh, about anything, including myself.
3. Run or walk with my dog.
4. Ask for a hug from my husband.
5. Play with the kids.

But there's way more . . . enjoy a glass of wine sitting in my backyard, take flowers or anything to a neighbor (just as an excuse to drop in to say hello), dig in the garden, watch the sky, feel the air on my skin, meditate while systematically sending love to each member of my family - with each breath I imagine someone I love, on the exhalation I send them love - it ALWAYS makes me smile!

I'm sorry to be the end of the chain, but Sierra was already tagged . . .

Healthy Dad

Recently my dad called out of the blue and asked to take me and my husband out to dinner, no kids. The fact that he was willing to make the 2+ hour drive was enough of a shock, but to have an adult only dinner got us thinking.

Of course, we thought the worst and started wondering if this was the "I have ___ months to live" talk. He's recovering from colon cancer and they think he may have lung cancer.

Well, he showed up with my stepmom, gave the kids a pogo stick, watched them a little, and then took us to dinner. It was a very noneventful dinner. It was great. Dad was very healthy compared to when I saw him last and it was really, really good to see him strong again. It was a gift.

Yertle, too cool on the gardening and composting! Hope you have a great crop! I am thinking of worm composting. The city composts our green waste, so it's just the kitchen scraps and dog poop that needs composting. Of course, that takes two separate bins. I'm confused on whether it is a batch process or continuous, but am doing more research.

Sierra, thanks for reminding me that good things come when you least expect them and when the universe is ready for you to have them!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Painfully Slow Job Search

It has been a while since I blogged about work.

In keeping with the law of attraction and knowing that I can control my thoughts, I have been trying to focus on the more positive aspects of my life.

For instance, my 5 year old son read books to me this morning during some special pre-work cuddle time. He's reading! When did that happen!?!?!?

But to provide an update on the job search, I am still searching, but have narrowed my scope. After thinking more about moving my family and giving up the rich community of friends and neighbors I have spent 9 years cultivating, I have decided I do not want to move my family just to get away from an asshole boss. So, I am looking only locally for a while and we'll see what happens. A couple executives are expected to retire in the next two years and I may be well positioned for those jobs, but time will tell.

Thanks for all the support.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Who's Selling These Cookies Anyway?!?!?

It's that time of year and if you went anywhere this past weekend, you were likely asked,

"Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?"

Now, here's the question, who asked you, the Girl Scout or her mom?

I took my daughter to her site sale in front of Bookstar on Saturday and she proceeded to sell cookies along with another little girl from her troop. The other girl's mom and I, though, had different opinions on the appropriate level of our involvement. Personally, I like to be asked and have the entire transaction with the Girl Scout herself. I view this as a learning opportunity and an important step in growing self-confidence and poise. Others view it as a fund-raiser and are more apt to ease their daughters into the responsibility.

So, there we were. I stood off to the side whereas the other mom was behind the table. I only said things like "good morning" to others whereas the other mom asked "Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies".

Again, it never ceases to amaze me the hundreds of little decisions that go into parenting and how amazingly personal and intimate those decisions can be.

Maybe I expect too much out of a 7 year old. Maybe I'm unique in wanting to deal with the girl and not her parent.

But maybe I'm not . . .

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Humility and 95%

One of the amazing things about being a parent is reliving some of your youth. Watching your children encounter stages of life and to remember them all over again, both bitter and sweet.

This past week was GATE testing for 2nd graders at our school. GATE stands for "Gifted and Talented Education". It was very interesting to talk with my husband about where we think and hope our daughter will place with this testing.

But it also brought up some interesting memories of my childhood and my mother. Around 3rd grade, I tested for a similar program, whatever it was called back then, and I qualified. My mother, a former school teacher, kept me out of the program, despite the fact that I could have participated based on my scores. I remember watching the kids go to the program and feeling like they were special somehow. I remember being jealous of the projects they got to work on.

My mom told me that she didn't want me to get too big an ego and that was the reason she kept me out. This is a very similar theme to how she talked to me about my appearance, never saying I was pretty for fear of me using my looks instead of my brains. Looking back, it puzzles me that she felt the need to keep me down. Was I really at risk of becoming an egomaniac. Was I already too big for my britches at such a young age that I needed to be put in my place?

Maybe I'll ask her.

This past week I got the very sad news that my father needs to go back in for surgery. Just 4 months ago he went in for surgery to remove cancer in his colon. He's been undergoing chemo ever since. They found a lump, though, in his lung. This lump is closing off the top lobe of his lung and making that part not even operable. I went up to help him with the procedure to get a biopsy of the lump. They were not able to get to the lump due to the location.

They and he have decided that he needs surgery to remove not only the lump, but the entire lobe of his lung. To do this, they actually have to cut off a rib to get to it. Then they "glue" the rib back on. Recover is two months. His chances for surviving the surgery alone are 95%. I find myself focusing intently on this number. That means he has a 5% chance of dying on the operating table, just one day after his 68th birthday. 5% sounds small, until you think that it means 1 in 20 people, then it sounds really big. For that 1 in 20, that number is 100%.

I'm scared for my dad. I'm scared for my life without him. I feel like it is finally sinking in that he is dying of cancer, but then I remember all of the cancer survivors out there and I think positively for his outcome. Maybe if he lives, he'll do those things he's been putting off . . . retirement, travel, etc.