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3 Signs I am Drowning and How I Fixed It

February 8, 2011 13 comments

I am still treading wine, but drowning more than drinking.  I just returned from two back to back business trips.  I realize many people travel every week for work, across countries and continents – they’re amazing, I am not.  I am tired and my body hurts from lugging my ginormous (technical term) laptop all over the place in heels.  I was ready to spend some time at home and get back to normal, then my old pal Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law) showed up…

My little diva has been sick for the past couple of days with a 103.5 fever and sleep disrupting killing cough.  I have tried to catch up on work and home life while “functioning” on 2 hours of sleep over two days. (Why was this so much easier when the kids were babies???  Don’t say I am getting old – I am fragile and can’t take that right now!)

Here are the signs that things were slipping in my world:

  1. There was soy sauce and wine on the table, I meant to put soy sauce on my brown rice…
  2. I put a carton of milk in the dryer – of course  I didn’t turn it on (because my husband walked up)
  3. I lost my son’s homework, my daughter’s valentine’s and my… (I can’t even remember the other thing!) all in one day! They were all found, including the thing I don’t remember losing, by somebody else.

There are plenty more examples, like my inability to string a sentence together to save my life, but I think you get the drift.  I have hit the proverbial wall and it is not made of cheese, chocolate or wine corks. 

I told my friend this morning, “I just need to get organized and catch up on everything and I will be fine”.  This sent her into hysterical laughter. I am pretty sure my friends only keep me around for the entertainment value.  She gently reminded me that being “caught up” might be too ambitious and I would miss all the fun in the meantime.

So guess what I did? 

At  12:05 I was sitting in my home office, in my pajamas, unshowered and decided to meet a friend for lunch.  This gal is rarely in town and was 10 minutes from my house.  I looked at my work email, my to-do listsssss (did you catch the emphasis on the plural lists) and walked away.  I set a new record for fastest shower and walked out the door at 12:10. mostly clean, no make-up and a big smile.

I have to tell you a spontaneous lunch out is incredibly therapeutic.  The to-do listssss continue to grow, but I am no longer drowning, because really, what is more important – expense reports or lunch with a great friend?

I knew you’d agree.

How do you keep your head above water?

I looked nothing like this at lunch today, but I was happy.

Treading Wine

January 28, 2011 19 comments

I know what you’re thinking – “Paige, don’t you mean treading water?”

Do I ever mean water over wine? Not unless we’re talking about laundry and I rarely talk about laundry.

For the last several weeks I have been struggling to tread wine.  You see, if I was struggling to tread water, I would have simply gotten out of the pool (or lake, or ocean).  But wine is complex, sometimes surprising, occasionally corked, but usually delightful, just like life.  So therefore, treading wine is worth the struggle.

So what I have been struggling with that has kept me off-balance (and writing very little) for the last few weeks?  I think I have it mostly figured out (how’s that for confidence and conviction?).  I have shared on occasion that I haven’t always been happy in my job.  The thing is, I love what I do and I am good great at it.  But I am a perfectionist and it had gotten out of hand.  I had gotten to a point where nothing felt good enough.  My confidence was slipping and my self-critical side needed a beat-down.  It had started to spill in to my personal life.  Everything felt hollow and I had stopped trusting my own instincts.  Very few people knew how it was affecting me, because, like my dramatic diva of a three-year old, I can put on a show.  The irony is during this time, I received a promotion, a raise and several accolades and still didn’t feel like my work was good enough.

But I am very fortunate, I am surrounded by smart, caring people (and a few paid professionals) who have helped me get things under control.  By examining my perfectionist tendencies, I realized that perhaps I am a wee bit… off-balance, unrealistic and um… crazy.  As I thought about the standard I was holding strangling myself to, I had to laugh.  It was absurd and not the level I hold others to.  My higher self-bar was not because I thought I was better than the average person and could deliver more, it was because of that pesky perfectionism.  This may confuse you since I talk about mold in my shower and all of my follies, but there are parts of life where I feel safe being “normal” and parts where I wasn’t giving myself that same luxury.  (Trust me, the mold is still in the shower and I think the whole house needs dusting).

So I have perfectly cured myself in about two weeks.  (When you’re done laughing, feel free to continue reading).

Welcome back, need some water or a kleenex?

In lieu of an instant cure, which I was dismayed to discover does not exist, I am being more thoughtful about my goals, my decisions and my feelings.  I am letting myself off the hook a bit.  I am taking risks again and know that sometimes I will… eek… fail, and gulp… that’s good for me.   I am also reminding myself that my job is only one facet of my rich, tannin filled life.  I am treating myself the way I would treat any of my precious friends and family members: with support and encouragement.

I know that I will have to keep an eye on that bothersome perfectionist side and I may have to occasionally smack her around, but just being aware makes me feel so much better!

So I am again successfully treading wine and enjoying it.  Not to mention that cabernet-colored skin is more attractive than some of my spray tan debacles in an effort to avoid my natural pasty white color!

Thanks to a Mad Women who inspired me to share the hard, not always funny, parts of life.

Lesson from My Polygamist Same-Sex Date

January 10, 2011 24 comments

I have been having a polygamist, same-sex relationship.  Online, no less.  What would my grandmother say? 

Who is this group of women?  Fellow bloggers. 

My expectation of blogging was simple: to have a creative outlet for myself, a personal playground.  I did not expect to make friends online.  And then I did.

Yesterday, I took the next step in the relationship.  I met some other bloggers for lunch and wine tasting in Napa.  Whitehall Lane hosted us for a fabulous wine tasting that was delicious and educational (ask me about glass corks).  Who doesn’t bond over wine???  We then had a fabulous lunch at Brix.  There was singing, mooning and threats of motor-boating.  It was right up my alley. 

As I drove home reflecting on my afternoon, I felt blessed to have spent a day with exceptional women.  But as I chatted with a close friend about my experience, she said I sounded numb.  She said I was saying wonderful things, but lacked my usual animation.  I thought about it and realized, I lacked emotion because I had some deep thoughts brewing.

Somewhere along the way, my blogging expectations became more complex.  I started watching my blog stats and wondering what it would be like to be one of those celebrity bloggers.  I started thinking that turning my hobby into something more might be my next goal.  After meeting these amazing women I was ready to go home and go after that goal. 

But here’s the problem with me and goals:  I am a crazy overachiever.  My competitive spirit can cloud my judgement, reaching the goal becomes more important than the journey.  I often say I could never be on the Bachelor, because I would want the rose even if the guy was a creep.  I set goals for myself and when I achieve them, I feel lost.  I expect that the next achievement will keep me satisfied.  And it doesn’t.  I end up failing to fully appreciate the experience.  I fear that I could diminish my passion for writing if I take it too seriously.

I think it is great to turn passions into careers or have goals for your hobbies.  I met women yesterday who, for them, this is more than a hobby and I revere them.  But for me to have balance in my life, I have to catch myself.  Motivation is good in moderation.  I need an area of my life where I don’t push my hardest.   

Does this mean I don’t have secret dreams of turning writing into something more?  Of course I do.  Would it be great to make a little wine and lunch money while doing something I love?  Uh, yeah!  But I need to slow down, take time to smell the cabernets and enjoy my new polygamist same-sex relationship.

Do you have something that gives you pure joy without stress?  Is the journey or the destination more important to you?

12 Steps to a “Mature” New Years Eve

January 1, 2011 11 comments

I am recovering from my exhibition of class and maturity. Here are the twelve steps for a mature and dignified New Years Eve celebration:

  1. Get a babysitter.  I am a responsible parent.  Usually…
  2. Dress up – we looked classy and mature
  3. Go to a burger joint – we were overdressed, but the food is yummy
  4. Play college drinking games like Circle of Death (our rules are slightly different, but you get the idea)
  5. Pull the fourth king (yep, lucky me) and pound a cup of champagne, Chambord, Jack Daniels and Diet Coke.  Ugh!
  6. Have a hula-hooping contest.  No, I am not kidding.
  7. Liberate the kids superhero masks and take pictures.
  8. Decide the anonymity of the masks is perfect for toilet-papering and choose a victim lucky recipient.  Our choices were the family who just had a baby and bought a new car or the couple who left our soiree early.  (We only attack people we know.  It’s a sign of friendship.)  We chose the neighbors who left early.  That’ll teach ‘em…
  9. Convince the sober driver (yes, we had one) our idea was a good one.
  10. Go to my house to steal toilet paper. I snuck in thru the garage so as not to wake the kids tip off my husband who had left the party fifteen minutes earlier and had told me not to go TP’ing…).
  11. Toilet paper the neighbor’s house while wearing superhero masks and take pictures.
  12. Regret our decisions this morning when it was pouring down rain

Needless, to say, I had to make an apology call today, after getting up with the kids at 7:00 am.

I know what you’re thinking.  You think that I make this stuff up, that I couldn’t really be this immature. 

Think again. 

Happy New Years!

Would you like to be my neighbor?

Results of the Blonde Ambition Tour

December 30, 2010 4 comments

I set some lofty goals for this holiday season.  I knew you have been unable to sleep at night wondering how much I pulled off.  (A bottle of wine equals a sleeping pill, just a suggestion).

Well, let’s score my results – red means I failed, green means I passed:

  • Make it to the gym at least four days each week to counteract the 12 Pounds of Christmas FAIL – I have been twice since December 20th.  But does it count that I ate and drank even more than I had planned on? I think so.
  • Clean-out my closet. Thanks to my husband’s gifts, I did this even more thoroughly than planned.
  • Help my kids with their charity donationsMy kids are awesome, they filled three large trash bags and got rid of enough bath toys to make me actually want to bathe in my own tub!
  • Clean-out my husband’s office – It’s the embarrassing catch-all room and it looks like somebody threw up a recycling bin in there.  It looks better, we found the bed and floor, removed all signs of Christmas wrapping and cleaned out two years worth of the kids are projects. 
  • Have at least three playdates for the kids and three “mommy playdates”.  I am really an overachiever in this area!  I had multiple mommy play dates!  Oh yeah and the kids played with some friends too.
  • Upload pictures to Facebook and make discs for people.  Ha ha ha.  Not going to happen.  One of my friends saw this post and asked for a disc.  She knows better now.
  • Visit family and friends 3 hours away, 1 hour away and 30 minutes away. Fail.  Other than my husband’s grandparents, we never left the neighborhood.
  • Host Christmas dinnerI set a beautiful table, my husband made an amazing meal and we bought a decadent dessert.  But I do have some yummy new recipes to try out… some other time.
  • Take down already dead tree and Christmas decorations on December 26th.  Buh-bye Christmas!  Not a shred of holiday cheer left in sight. (But there is still plenty of cheer in the liquor cabinet!)
Overall, it’s been a great Christmas.  I have visited, indulged, organized and drank. 

And now I would like a nap. 

And some Tums.

Categories: Balance, Confessions

My Husband is Trying to Upgrade Me

December 29, 2010 4 comments

We have survived Christmas!  Despite the state of affairs in my house on the morning of Christmas Eve (if you didn’t read this post, please do, it’s one of my favorites), we had a lovely holiday.  The food was delicious, the wine was effective and all the toys had off switches.

Christmas morning was an overwhelming display of consumerism over-indulgence normal chaos for our house.  Last year, we got the kids a Wii and my daughter a play kitchen so there were fewer presents, but they were big-ticket items.  This year, none of us had any big tickets items on our Christmas lists, so Christmas morning looked like this:

 

This is just the present for my kids, my husband and myself.  I am sure there is a support group somewhere my husband can join.  Yes, he does more shopping than I do at Christmas, but I make up for it the rest of the year!

As I opened the gifts from my husband, a clear message was delivered: Despite how comfortable they are, my husband is not happy with my lingerie and loungewear old cotton underwear and ratty pajamas (except for the cute pair from the pajama exchange).   As I opened box after box, he instructed me to throw out everything else.  He also got me two new pairs of shoes, a new purse and new running shoes.  There is no doubt in my mind, this was his cry for help.  He wants me to step it up and look more like the wife I have the potential to will never be.  Fortunately, he is realistic, it was not all lace thongs and teddys.  He gave me some cute flannel pants and new full-butt underwear.  (Judge me if you want, but I like both my buns covered when I sleep).  His present were balanced.  I can get dressed up and look great presentable a few times per week, but I am not the woman who is perfectly put together everyday.  This would be impossible considering I do not even get dressed every day. 

The gifts of course forced me to clean out my closet and drawers.  Which leads me to the update: How did my Blonde Ambition Holiday Tour go?  You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.  It’s 4:15 and I have a pie in the oven (from a box), cocktails to drink (never from a box, well almost never…) and a dinner party to attend.  Really, our friends are frying a turkey tonight.  Because ’tis the season of over-indulgence and I hope I have made it clear – I am a huge fan of over-indulgence!

Categories: Confessions, Holidays

Lust

December 8, 2010 9 comments

This is the grand finale of the Seven Deadly Sins Challenge.  I am asked to provide seven love secrets.  This is a PG-13 blog on its raciest days and does not necessarily reflect my wild side, but here are seven love secrets.

  1. My husband and I had sex in a room full of people (watching a loud movie in the dark) without anyone knowing.  College or post-college – you decide…
  2. When my son was 14 months, we were on vacation in Hawaii.  My husband I got the tropical itch and persuaded my husband to have sex while our son was in his crib.  He woke up and yelled, “Daddy, no!”  Game Over!
  3. Every guy I know has the same dream – trifecta.  If you can’t figure it out, I can’t tell you.  No, it’s not a threesome.
  4. I still wear my wedding night lingerie every year on our anniversary.
  5. My husband and I have a code word for oral sex (no, not going to tell).  I let it slip once with some girlfriends and now this common phrase gets me into all sorts of laughter and trouble.
  6. The lock on our bedroom door doesn’t work.  Now that our son is older, we often use a chair to block the door, just in case.
  7. 6:00 pm is my hot time.  It makes cooking dinner with my husband fun, but leads nowhere with two hungry children.

As I am writing this, I am trying to think of all the people I know who read this.  I am hoping to not forget the one person I wouldn’t want to look in the eye when I realize they know some of these things.  Oh well, that would be a blog post in itself!

I told you mine, now tell me yours!

Might I recommend a bigger blanket for privacy...

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