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Frustrated, Motivationless and Confused: What To Do Next?

Today is not a good day. I tend to get this way during an active work search. And although it hasn’t been long since I started this particular search, I think I have hit the first wall. I feel like crawling back into bed and just sleeping until this is all over.

And even though I know that I go through this on every search, each time I hit this wall I have the same feelings of frustration and questions. Maybe I should attempt something new? Maybe its time to just throw in the towel. Maybe I should move somewhere new?

The last one – about moving – is a common one. Well, sort of. My father did it to us as kids… I always joked that my Dad was part nomad. And have done it fairly often as an adult. Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Jose, Kansas City… and of course there are all of those little ones in between. A new place and a clean slate.

Although, this time it seems like it might be too hard. Too much “stuff” involved. Spent so much time getting this house perfect for me. And the issue of impending knee surgeries is almost too much to fathom trying to do what would have to be done to move. Sometimes I feel like if I could gather up my photos and important papers and then just drop a match on my way out the door, it would free me from the shackles of consumerism. Or at least what I have already consumed. Maybe it is what I would need to break the ties to this place. (Don’t worry, I really will not commit arson!)

I was thinking about the stories of my parents. They, too, were hostages to their “stuff”. And even though there was a point when they downsized from their house to a mobile home, they still were too imprisoned by things. When they both became too ill to live on their own, the task of combing through everything fell to me and a sister and a brother.

It was incredible as to the things that they found a need to hold onto. Maybe it was that we were looking at it as adults rather than as children, but nonetheless it baffled and confused me. Some of it ended up being useful and awesome to each of the three of us… I found a drawer in the china cabinet that had been stuffed full of birth and wedding announcements, obituaries and funeral handouts and newspaper clippings and photos. It was a gold mine to me as the family genealogist… dates and names and photos that went well beyond informative. But in the next drawer, old bills that went as far back as twenty or thirty years that were useless! The rhyme and reasons were undecipherable.

Wow, did I get off track! But I find that today, I seem to be wandering aimlessly. I cannot seem to muster the strength to start or complete anything and I know I have plenty to do. I am so distracted.

I can’t even come up with a way to end this post. Huh.


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Why Should I Ever Have to Say: “I Mean It!”

Sometimes I think that women are saddled with a thankless chore. At least for me, I can get so frustrated by having to ask for the simplest things over and over. Sometimes I think it is my fault, because just to keep the peace, I usually end up doing whatever chore or thing that I have asked for. And I guess in The Kid’s head, he knows it. I can ask three times and then I get frustrated and he knows not to show his face. But then, by not getting there and doing what I’ve asked (yes, three times… at least three times) he can only make the situation worse. Even if he does show, its no use. The thing has taken hold of my brain.

Sometimes I fear that he will only eventually learn these things (and to fill you in on the latest unfinished/undone chore, it is wiping the top of the stove and microwave) if I either stop doing them or that I am not around to make him do them. But more than likely he will eventually have a girlfriend and/or wife who will be mad at him because he can’t do the simplest things…

But why do these things drive me so fucking crazy? He can actually get the dirty dishes from his room into the kitchen and onto the counter right next to the sink and right above the dishwasher. But never actually IN THE SINK OR DISHWASHER.

Its a million of these little things… and I’m guessing that it was like that for my mom with all of us kids. There was, at least for me, this magical point in my life where all of a sudden, I couldn’t deal with the clutter and dust and dirt and full garbage cans. Sometime during my senior year of high school, I became finicky and neat and tidy. I swear, it was almost like I could remember the day when I no longer could stand dirty clothes on the floor or my records all over the dresser not in their sleeves. When suddenly the vacuum cleaner became a good friend of mine. And I really learned how disgusting dust is.

Did you know that 85% of household dust is dead skin? Yuck!

Anyway… I have been waiting and waiting for that moment for The Kid. I dunno, maybe he did it backwards. When he was little – like toddler years – he was so fastidious. His teachers at daycare would tell me that he would walk around behind other children putting away their toys!  Maybe he used it all up or something.

Maybe it won’t come back to him until he is old. Like my Dad. In his last decade of life, he suddenly because organized and cleaned. He would talk to me about how when he showered he would clean the walls and then after he toweled off he would wipe down the walls of the shower and the doors. Couldn’t have water spots, he said. And the towels had to be washed every time. I suppose that makes sense since he was wiping down the walls, but still.

I always kind of prided myself on being “tolerant” when it came to cleaning. My mom had this little saying in the kitchen that said something to the effect of “the house is clean enough to be healthy but dirty enough to be happy”. I liked that sentiment. Much as no one ever said on their deathbed that they should have spent more time in the office, so did no one ever lament not cleaning enough. I wanted my son’s childhood to be full of wonderful happy memories of doing things together and exploring and learning… not of one watching his mother cleaning or never being able to get things messy.

But I wonder if I was too lenient. Someday, his future love is going to curse me for not teaching him the importance of cleaning the bathroom mirrors. But hopefully that by teaching him to put the seat down will make up for it.


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The Crazy Old Lady in the Hot Sportscar

A hundred years ago when I started this blog, it was supposed to be about the “second half” of life. Reflections about what I’ve learned and experienced, but more about what I wanted to do next with the remaining years of my life.

Why the seriousness? Well, yesterday I received an email from one of my favorite places that indicated that Tuesdays were “senior citizen” day. “Senior citizen” being defined as someone fifty-five years and older. Kapow

For a moment, I stared at the words. And then it hit me. I knew this was coming, after all, I had been getting AARP’s mailers for a while. But I think for the first time I realize that I am old! Things have been falling apart on my body for sometime – the chronic headaches and the worn-out knees, but somewhere in there I still felt…  well, not exactly “young”, but not old. Not by any means.

My twenties were rough… really didn’t know who I was or where I was going. Made a lot of mistakes. But, as I’ve have been known to say, mistakes aren’t necessarily bad if you learn from them. And learn, I did.

Overcame some serious hurdles and learned that, more often than not, what was waiting on the other side was usually worth the struggle. My thirties started out a little tumultuous, but the birth of my son turned all of that around. Learned to be strong, not only for myself but also for my son. The rest of my thirties were mostly joyous and soon was embracing the good and learning from the not-so-good. Some day were tough. Wondered if I would come out on the other side. My forties were wonderful. Perfect? Not by a long shot. But there were some seriously effing fantastic times in all of that.

Of all the things that I learned and endured, I knew I was strong. And capable. And no matter how hard the diversity, I knew I was strong enough. I didn’t wallow in self pity, but picked myself up each time I stumbled and persevered. Mostly, it was for my son. Things had to be right for him.

So far, my fifties haven’t been bad… but they sure could be a bit better. There has been this vague grey cloud of uncertainty with regards to my professional life. It almost seems that I have too much experience… that having as much as I do has hit a saturation point. You know? I mean, when it comes right down to it, what is the difference between ten and twenty years of experience? Have I really learned so much that is relevant, that it makes a real difference? Or because of the nature of the changing technological world that, honestly, only the past few years are relevant?

I know that these questions are because I am in a bit of a slump. Once I finally “officially” started job hunting, the doubting begins. I try to tell myself that it takes time and that the right position will appear. I mean, after all, it is the same little conversation that I have with myself with the end of each passing position. You know?

It is just the discord, the turbulence of the dance. But combined with those words on that flier, it rattled me a bit. I think seeing it in black and white is what knocked me off balance. I mean, I am the young, fashionable techie that drives a red sports car. I know what is going on in the world and all around me. I am current with the social aspects of this new computerized world. Right?

I was out the other day in my “8”. Driving too fast and had the music up loud and the windows down. And I see this “old guy” in this gorgeous, black restored (probably like late 60’s, early 70s) Corvette. And my first thought is “damn… car is wasted on an old dude”. A couple of seconds later, I realize that someone might be thinking the same thing about me! I had become the woman I used to laugh at when I was young!

But, he2011 Mazda RX-8ll, I love this car! I’ve had a lot of great, fast, fun cars in my past, and this one comes on the heels of many other awesome cars. But there is something special about sliding in behind the wheel and taking off.  And it does for me, what that Corvette did for that “old guy”… transports us back to a time when there was no grey hair and our joints didn’t cry out when we’ve pushed them past their limits. With the right music, it is a God damned time machine. And I finally get it.

But of course, I didn’t understand it was back when I was young, and today’s young people won’t understand it now, either. I suppose that one reason I hang on to this so-completely-impractical car is because I am holding on to that little bit of youth that I still have left. And, although driving at high speeds is technically illegal, it is a fast and easy way to get my blood pumping through my veins and giving me just enough amnesia to forget the ache of my knees. A little dose of youth.

Wow… really got off on a tangent there. Perhaps has something to do with my “baby” turning twenty day before yesterday. Now I know what people said to me when I was young; that when I was older, I wouldn’t understand until I was older.

Shit. Here I am, I’m older now. And yep, I get it!


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