Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's Thanksgiving!

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust

Today is Thanksgiving! Thousands of people will eat and drink themselves into insensibility, and gather funny stories (and tons of dishes) for the weeks to come. We are keeping a low profile ourselves. Just the two of us, after a few weeks of madness, we are just taking a day of R&R. No turkey in this place today!

I got to think a lot lately about Thanksgiving and what it really means. If you ask the average American, more often than not the answer you get is “it’s turkey day”, or “it’s all about the food!” It’s not called “Foodgiving” though, it’s called Thanksgiving. Thanks for the bounty for sure, but what else? What are you thankful for?

This morning we sat down and shared what we were thankful for. We did cover the usual but so important fact that both our families are happy, mostly healthy and that we still have those we love around us. They are far away, but they are always with us. This fall his mom visited us and it was the most beautiful thing to see her so happy to discover “our world”.

We have each others. After about 2 years of struggling to get our lives, and our finances under control, we have come out of it stronger, closer together. We could have drifted apart, that happens to too many couples, but we didn’t, we closed ranks. That “we’re in this together” attitude that we’ve had since we first got together is what keeps me, and him I’m sure, going when things get a little rough.

I’m grateful on the work front also, for both of us. My husband had a period where work was a little bit of a challenge. Things weren’t as exciting as he would have wanted them to be, and to be honest work was more a way to pay the bills than something he was looking forward to. This year is completely different. He’s excited with what he’s working on, he’s proud of his work and he’s feeling appreciated. The change is being reflected in everything he does. I’m not saying that there aren’t mornings when he’d rather sleep in, but it’s so wonderful to know that he’s happy at work again.

On my part it’s even better! After 2 years of struggling and feeling like I would never get anywhere, I’m finally making huge steps forward. For the first time in a long time I’m feeling competent and ready to face the world. I’ve got something to look ahead to, I’m working fairly consistently, and I’m busy enough that I don’t spend time on the couch wondering what the hell I should do now.

I have taken on more responsibilities, and I feel able to handle them. I am inspired, motivated, and I feel like finally I can do my little part to improve things around me. All that with still enough flexibility to do my thing, work out, cook, and do all those things that I love doing. What else can I ask for?

Finally I think that the one thing I’m most grateful for is our decision to move back to San Francisco. Things are moving here. I’m the kind of person who functions better under pressure. Here if you don’t keep up, you will be left behind in a hurry, that kind of environment suits me. In Sonoma County I could spend days without seeing anyone. If I wasn’t working, I had nowhere to go really. Here I’m always out and about, meeting new people, doing new things. If nothing else people watching is awesome in San Francisco. You never run out of weirdoes. AH!

We are healthy. After years of not taking very good care of ourselves we only had to straighten ourselves up and our body responded wonderfully. That in itself is huge. I am deeply grateful for that. More than anything though, I’m grateful for the fact that we are a little happier everyday. Life is good and I am grateful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Am I over it yet?

Last Thursday I went to work and then took off to go shopping at Tanforan in San Bruno. All day I went from freezing to being too hot and sweaty. I figured out early on that wearing my polyurethane jacket maybe wasn’t the best choice and tried to endure it.

Friday I had a scratchy throat. Oh no, not getting sick, I don’t have time, I have a week 2 tomorrow, a week 1 a health fair and a party. No time to get sick.

Saturday morning, you’d have thought I had been run over by a truck, then a train, then a plane… Awful.

Fast forward to Tuesday, I finally can get up and stand for more than 15 minutes without falling over. My husband calls from work, he’s coming home, he’s sick. Great, I can barely walk, and I’ve got to take over as caretaker. The truck (and the train, and the plane) got him now!

Friday I was able to drive to the beach, take the dog out so she could run. So I'm there, throwing a stick a few times she ran for it and dove at it as usual, but the last time she gave this really loud yelp. After that she just sat her leg in the air, absolutely refusing to move. I went to touch her leg and she kind of backed off without getting up.

All I could think about was that either she had torn something, or dislocated her hip. Either way, I was exhausted already, far away from the car and scared to death. I forced Grace up. She would limp without even flexing her paw, just letting it drag. Oh no, nerve damage...

I was almost in tears, but then she saw a puppy coming her way. She took off. She was limping a little, but barely... Thanks for the scare! I dropped her at home, went to the store and that was my day. I was worn off from this little activity.

Finally Saturday I was able to vacuum the floors, clean the windows, and cook dinner. Today I cooked again and cleaned some more. More importantly, today I felt like me again!

This morning I played some piano. The sun was shining, the sky was beautiful. My piano sits right by the window and I could watch the sky, the birds, and just get lost in my Christmas songs. I even let my husband listen to me a little!

Tomorrow I’m going back to work, I’m not 100%, but I’m good to go. I can’t remember the last time a flu hit me this hard. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t move, I didn’t have the energy to even do the simplest things. Hopefully I’m done and over with it, but take my advice, don’t catch this one!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

No but really?

I’m sitting at Starbuck, having a Mocha frap. light, enjoying myself before work. This woman walks in and asks for a sample of “Thanksgiving coffee”. The girl, very nicely, tells her that normally they don’t give out random samples without purchase. The woman explains that she wants to know what to buy for Thanksgiving and that she always buys her coffee here so she’s justified to ask for samples. The girl accepts but adds: “It’s the last time I can do it because it’s against our policy”. The woman gets very annoyed and takes her sample, and goes to add milk and whatever else to it.

The poor girl at the counter looked like she was about to cry so I got up, walked to her and said “Don’t feel bad, I’ve seen her do the same thing at Peet’s at least twice.” Her answer was “I know, she does it here every day. We were told to put a stop to it.” The woman was even told previously that it was not going to happen and yet she keeps coming.

The woman in questions is dressed very business-like, in expensive looking clothes. New looking clothes I might add. She doesn’t look like someone who’s in need of free coffee; she looks like she can absolutely afford it. Not only that, but when I could not afford Starbuck coffee (or Peet’s or whichever else), I did not have it. End of the story.

People like that angers me to no end. I’m all for getting a good deal, and “sticking it to the man”, but this is ridiculous. Some people feel entitled to take what they want and not pay for it. It’s everywhere: People abusing samples, people sneaking on MUNI or BART without paying, people “trying out” every gym in town to get the free trials and never actually joining any of them. Somebody is paying for that.

I saw on TV yesterday a story about squatters just simply moving in houses of people who had to move out because they couldn’t afford to stay. This poor dude was trying to do the right thing and sell his place. Because of the squatters, and the mess they left behind, he was unable to sell and had to go in foreclosure. How fucked up is that?

Who are those people? Where on earth have they learned that they are entitled to free stuff? Don’t give me that crap about “Oh, the economy...” It’s the same economy for EVERYONE. Times being hard means that it’s time to double the efforts; that you need to think things through a little more carefully and think up a plan to turn things around. It’s not a permit to just give up on common sense.

I might haggle to get a good price, I might try the samples that are out there, but I will not go to Costco simply to have lunch out of the samples. People do that! Where I’m from, there is one person who does that, go to the wedding for free food, show up anywhere there are samples. One person, everybody knows who she is, and she’s the laughing stock of the entire population of the archipelago. It certainly is not the norm.

Life costs money, it just does. The same way that losing weight takes efforts, education means studying, going to work means actually… *gasp* WORKING. Nothing is free and that’s just how it is. You can’t cheat your way through life. If you don’t suffer the consequences of it that means someone else will suffer them for you.

People make the assumption that being happy means living an effortless life. I couldn’t disagree more. I think that being happy means earning what you have, being busy with things that excite you, getting up in the morning with a purpose, and going to bed feeling like you accomplished something. That’s hard to do if you cheated your way through your day now isn’t it?