Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Today's show is brought to you by the letter...

My husband called the vet. The MA said the results are in and look good. She couldn’t tell us in detail what it may be but the vet should be calling us tonight to discuss.

That will be the best Christmas present.

My stepdad’s father passed away last week. The funeral mass was held on Saturday. The best thing I can say is that he didn’t suffer for long. Joe is bringing his mom back to the states for a few months. I’ve told him and his daughter if they need to stay back home do not come back to NYC on our account. It’s important to settle the estate and do what needs to be done.

Mutha came back from the family reunion rested and relaxed. Well, if you don’t count the crazy murmuring man in his connecting flight from Denver, the brake issue with his car and our mom being our mom.

My first cousin is out of the hospital again but may need to return if her sugar levels continue to sky rocket. They’re not sure if the corti-steriods used during the asthma attacks are causing the spike but she needs close monitoring.

My other cousin got engaged and my other cousins keep popping out babies.

I made enough cookies to feed my block and then some and for the first time in a long time, I made it under budget for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. In fact, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners only had enough leftovers for one night.

New Year’s breakfast should be under as well.

Work has been awfully busy. Lrudlrick has been working non-stop, even during Christmas Eve and Day. Unfortunately we both have heightened deadlines with slow response times from vendors, clients and staff due to the holiday season. Still, we do what needs to be done.

I’m not a resolutions person as I find it’s too easy to break them before I can get them done on paper. I’m more introspective around this time.

What I’ve learned in 2006:

I’ve resigned myself to thinking differently than others around me.
I’ve resigned myself to never understanding how certain things work and tick.
I’ll never understand the darn 3 quart 5 quart riddle yet I’ll always ask for another explanation.
I need to spend time away from home with my husband this coming year.
I don’t need frequent trips to see family and friends to still feel in touch. I’ve realized that my dogs are my children in all seriousness.
I don’t want to live in New York forever.
I’m ok with being non-descript.
Custard is good.
You can do just about anything with cherries.
My husband really doesn’t like fish but tolerates it without whining.
I don’t want to work alone and the extra work needed to supervise a team is well worth it and much needed.
I’m happiest doing when a job is accomplished.
I really like argyle socks.
I want to do more in my church.
I fall into smit very easily.
I also fall out of smit just as quickly.
I really like kids and not just as little people I can return at the end of the day.
I learned the difference between sci-fi and fantasy.
Nothing makes my husband laugh harder than watching Match Game.
My husband likes to say, “brilliant,” but not in that sarcastic New York way but the London way.
Emmett Otter is boring.
My DVR allows me to search for 4 star movies.
All Mine to Give is a sad, sad movie. No matter how hard you wish, there is no happy ending.
Yes, you can have too much chocolate.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Words to Live By

If you have too much to do, with God's help you will find time to do it all.

-Peter Canisius

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Put one foot in front of the other.

The stress level is beyond high for me. I know this because of the nightmares I’ve been having. Some days it’s about work. Some days it’s about family.

I know there isn’t much I can do about illness in my family except pray. My mom and stepdad are now in Canada. Last rites were given this week. Joe sounds a bit better now that he’s physically there. Mom has promised to continue her physical therapy up in BC.

My cousin’s mom is in the hospital again. I know that sounds weird. She's technically my second cousin. Does that make her mom my second aunt? This time her asthma was so severe they had to intubate her. When I spoke to her she said she didn’t feel 100% but she doesn’t want to spend Christmas in a hospital. Who does? My cousin sounds tired and spent.

Z-girl had the lump removed and now we wait for the biopsy results. I saw the pre-op bloodwork and she does have an elevated white blood cell count and in the words of her doc, “She’s got something cooking in the pancreas. I’m not sure if she was just nauseous or nervous the day she had her blood drawn or if something else is happening.”

My brother is in Mexico with many of our cousins. I wish I was there. Since internet connection is $100 for 2 hours, I’m playing hit or miss text messaging. I miss him but I know he’s having a good time. He deserves it.

Lrudlrick has been working non-stop since Thanksgiving. He’s freaking out his timeline is less than two weeks away. I get home at eight, we eat something quick together and then he’s back to work.

Work for me has been nothing but craziness. I want results. I want resolutions. Unfortunately, my priorities are not others. Unfortunately, I’m the only one in my team. I have non existent team. I’m the interface analyst. I’m the training coordinator. I’m the hardware technician. I’m the data manager. I’m the implementation coordinator.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving the challenge but at the expense of my loved ones and my own personal life.

Lrudlrick and I are both too stressed. We’re in this odd situation where we’re too tired, too stress and too overwhelmed. We’re in the same boat. We rarely talk about work to each other under normal circumstances, doubly so now. Why tell each other the same freaking’ problems?

Yesterday I had a nightmare no matter how hard I tried, my desk kept piling up with troubleshooting issues. Laugh. I know some of you can only imagine what my desk looks like. Well, even in times of stress and deadlines, my desk has 90% of it’s wood surface visible. I may be stressed, but anal retentiveness trumps all.

Today I had a nightmare my brother was 6 again and he was sick. For some reason I was my current age and married. Lrudlrick and I kept carrying him to different doctors for help. We kept running in circles throughout a non-descript hospital and no one would help us.

Both dreams made me wake up in a cold sweat.

Christmas spirit is in me but not as strong as normal. Sadly, in my workplace my office has one of the most spirit. I’m not tooting my horn either. I think the only consolation I have is that the stress I feel at work although unique is also universal. The only reason there are decorations in my office was for my own sanity.

The last few week’s I keep thinking about John the Baptist and how he had a mission. From day one, his life had a purpose. Did he know what his purpose was? Everyone has a purpose. When do we know our purpose? There are so many sad and bitter people out there. There is no need to have a bitter life. Everyone should jump out of their skins every now and then and say, “Am I happy?” If you’re truly not happy, why are you not happy? If you can change it and you’ll be pretty hard pressed to find something that you can’t change.

I’m probably deluding myself but I can’t see why anyone who is completely miserable would want to stay miserable. If you can change it, do it.

For all the stress and fear I have of late, I’m still in general happy. Crazy as it sounds, I love what I do. I wish I had staff to help me but I still love what I do. I wish my family was healthy but I also know that the circle of life is real. I wish I had more time for my family and to start a family but for now I muddle through looking forward some time off in the first quarter of next year.

I know there is a purpose to my life and even if it’s to spend it searching for my purpose, I’m here and I have my sneakers on. I’m just hoping it doesn't lead me to Oregon during the winter months.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The circle of life is beautiful yet sometimes tragic

I can’t concentrate today.

I have a ton of things to do but my mind is elsewhere.

The test came back inconclusive. We now have to take her for pre-surgery bloodwork this weekend. Then she will be scheduled for surgery to remove the entire mass which will then be sent for a biopsy.

I’m a bit worried about that but my pre-occupation is for my stepdad. His father, my step-grandfather, was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. I’ve been through this before so I understand the impact this has on a family. Joe hasn’t and according to mom, this has been rough for him.

From my mother’s descriptions, which are hearsay, his father is experiencing the classic stages.

I’m not very close to my step-family. They live in Vancouver and the distance and age differences don’t help. Still, I really feel for them right now. Grandpa is a good man and it’s always hard to see the pillars of families move on.

Flights have been arranged so that my stepdad and mom can spend the holidays with him. My stepsister was kind enough to arrange this.

The only thing I can do now is pray.

It makes you remember that we can all get so buried in work and the here and now. Here I’ve been working my butt off for a project that means a lot to me. The sweat and the tears don’t mean anything to me right now. All I can do is think about my family miles away. We’re not close but we’re not distant. I hardly know them. Knowing the helplessness felt by all in this situation, I can do nothing.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas had a stealth suit on this year

I’ll be honest; Christmas snuck up on me. I’m woefully unprepared this year. Lrudlrick has been working day and night since Thanksgiving. He’s battling the same cold I have except he’s staying up until 3am programming.

I’m preparing for the pilot go live on Monday with no equipment. Can someone tell me how telling me how I’m supposed to understand someone telling me it takes 3 days to get the order means it takes 10 days to process the purchase order plus 3 days for shipment?

Have the staff is out sick not that that matters to me seeing as my staff is non-existent. Yet, my head is high and I’m standing by realistic optimist approach to life.

So hear I am on December 1st without a single gift. I’ve purchased only two gifts and both were for my canine companions. Sad. So sad. Usually by this time, I’ve created my design for the Christmas cards, prepared the wrapping table to start wrapping gifts, decided on my cookie collection and narrowed down my Christmas feast menu.

Strangely enough, I’m not freaking out this year. I’m rather calm for a woman who hasn’t done a lick of holiday preparations and mother-in-law visit prep.Well, I may deluding myself but hey, whatever keeps me from going postal. I purchased my Christmas stamps today and I’m planning to write out my Christmas cards this weekend. I went out and bought cards. Gasp.

I also plan to do some shopping in between taking my dog to the vet. Z-girl has a bump on her hind leg. I’m not sure what it is. I think it may be a cyst. I may meet up with my brother tomorrow which would be nice but he is working so we’re playing it by ear.

My preliminary plan is to take care of the tree and decorations next weekend, cookies and dinner the following weekend and worrying about New Year’s brunch later. In between, I figure out the menu and prepare the house for my MIL and FIL’s visit.

It will all be fine.

Mother had her surgery and she’s home refusing to live on the first floor until her knee heels. I believe she has a strong separation anxiety about the house that is unfortunate. I sent her information on receiving a pass for transit rides. I’m surprised she hasn’t done so yet but I think she’s also reluctant to apply for any assistance for those temporarily disabled. I don’t blame her; it’s human nature but there is nothing wrong with taking help if it’s offered.

Right now, my biggest concern is the health of my brother and my husband. They both are under stress and have had little time to rest or decompress. Lrudlrick apologized early this morning for his harried schedule. It’s not his fault and I understand even though I occasionally pout about it. My schedule can be and currently is just as insane.

Is it our field or is this prevalent elsewhere? Here’s hoping January will start a more leisurely year.