Monday, August 31, 2009

Write it out.

Ever heard the phrases shake it off or run it out? That's what I'm doing here, except that instead of actually putting any sort of physical exertion into this, I will type to my heart's content and sort out some of my frustration.

Lately I feel like I've taken two steps backward (two LARGE steps) and one step forward. I won't go into specifics, but I will say that the healing process has been kind of awesome yet exhausting. In some ways, I feel more confident than ever; I've worked through some serious struggles, and that has helped me figure out where my priorities are and who I want to ultimately be. On the flipside, though, I feel like a hurt animal, still licking wounds and trying to take it easy before getting back out there into the real world with real opportunities for being injured again. (Uh oh, here she goes, waxing all philosophic...)

I was pondering on my way to work this morning about the crutches I have in my life. I've noticed that I rely on certain things more than I realize, and when those things are swiftly removed, I crumble faster than a stale cookie. Take my eyesight, for instance (this is how my train of thought got started, as I was trying to read a sign and my double vision kicked in)...I wore gas permeable contacts for ten years because the eye doctor told me they were the only thing that would correct my astigmatism. What I didn't realize is that they were keeping my eyesight from progressing to anything worse than it already was because they hold your cornea in place (sure?). All I knew is that my eyes hated me because they were red and itchy all the time. So I thought I was doing myself a favor when I ditched the gas perms for something in a soft lens variety (now that technology has advanced). Now what Annie doesn't know is that this will ultimately screw up her vision entirely. I'm now in and out of opthamologists' offices, trying to figure out how to see clearly again. What I'm really trying to say is, I didn't realize that my original contact lenses were acting as a crutch.

As my thoughts were meandering down this path, I thought about other metaphorical crutches I've had in my life...things I can hide behind but can be a stumbling block. Facebook? My talents? Making excuses for why I don't make more out of myself? Relying on others' opinions too much? Because seriously, while I do count on all of these things, some could change at the drop of a hat, and BAM! Where does that leave me? A broken pile, pieces of what I've worked so hard to become these last few years. What I'd like to do is work on having more confidence in my thoughts and my own opinions and desires. No, really--I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, I like me. No more hiding behind people's expectations. No more acting goofy around guys I'm interested in. No more fretting about things I can't control. No more feeling helpless or alone. Crutches beware...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stark realizations

Driving time is thinking time. So the other day as I was driving a long stretch by my lonesome, I was listening to the music and getting lost in my thoughts. And being particularly honest with myself. Here are the stark realizations I faced on that stretch of highway:

  • I am a Utah driver. This one was difficult to come to grips with, but I think it's at least partially true. I speed, I tail, I sometimes pass on the right...and I yell at anyone who thinks they can also get away with those things. Solution? There isn't one. I was stuck behind a van at a stop light the other day, and they were being idiots about the construction downtown. I found myself grumbling words like 'moron' and 'stupid' and wanting to zip around them at the earliest possible moment. I guess I was always one of those people who assumed I was a "good driver," but now I realize that I can no longer pretend that I somehow know better and should give everyone a lesson in road rules.

...and this got me thinking, "What else have I been missing about myself?" Apparently a lot.

  • I am a 'real' girl. I always wanted to not be like stereotypical girls (the ones who like clothes and shopping and act helpless around guys), but the older I get, the more I have come to find that I actually do like shopping for clothes and flirting with guys. I wish I could say this was a problem, but I've found myself responding by saying something about it being my prerogative as a woman to want to look hot and be independent. So I will pay a few extra dollars to have my hair look good. And I'll change my outfit a few times before I leave the house. And I can still be proud that I own a Leatherman. I don't have to fit in one bucket or the other, but I am starting to lean toward the 'girlier' end of the spectrum. Thanks a lot, What Not To Wear. Just today I went to the Gateway and walked around for some retail therapy. Bought two pairs of shoes. See? Girly.
  • I think I have some form of ADD. I'm beginning to find it very difficult to concentrate on a task before me, even if it's something I want to do. That could just be my propensity to procrastinate, but I think I have a mild form of attention deficit disorder. For example--even with television watching, I can't focus. I have five different television shows I'm watching at the moment, all on DVD. It's great because I have a disc of each of them in the changer, and whatever I'm in the mood for, that's what I watch. I believe my ADD is affecting my blogging, too...this post has taken me days to finish. And writing is something I enjoy doing!
  • I need to stop drinking carbonation. Not that it's good for anyone, but for someone who struggles with acid reflux problems, it's extra bad. You would think that it would be like someone telling you that you have diabetes and you should stop eating sugar or you'll be facing trouble. Remember my dental problems? They think they're exacerbated by all that lovely acid that rears its ugly head. What to do...? If you see me drinking something with bubbles, gently prod me to stop. I'll probably hang my head in shame, but you know best.
  • I used to be a goody two shoes...but not so much anymore. Wait, hold it--I'm not saying I'm not religious, because let's face it, I am. I'm a firm believer that I shouldn't be judgmental because everyone's got their own problems. I know I certainly struggle with my own, and I would hate for people to hate on me because of things I do/have done/think. And I'm definitly not saying I'm perfect at the non-judgmental stuff! In another vein of angelicism (or annoying snottiness), I am not as high-falutin' about things as I used to be. I've asked many people what their first impressions were of me many years ago. Most of them say that they saw me as stand-offish and conceited. That could be because I was extremely shy and didn't want to talk to anyone, but I didn't like what I heard. So I've tried to stop my seemingly pretentious ways and just try to act normally. Whatever normal is...that's something I'm still trying to figure out.
  • I'm not an afficianado at anything. See, when I have a car problem, I call my dad. He knows everything about cars. If I want to know when a tv show premieres, I call over my cubicle and ask Lacy. And I know she'll have a review about it on her blog later, too. If I want to sing camp songs or rock songs or anything accompanied by the guitar, I call James. Yeah, I'm good at lots of stuff, but no one thinks, "Hey, I need help with {insert difficult task here}. You know who I should call? Annie." And that's ok. I do tons of awesome things, so I'm completely satisfied with that.
And how about a less-than-stark realization I had when I was talking with some friends? Did you know that the theme song to M*A*S*H has words?! I have no idea why I didn't think about this or just figure that the song would naturally have words. But Suicide Is Painless was a song used in the original M*A*S*H movie, complete with words. Ha! Well, you learn something new every day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When good games go bad... family gets kind of frenzied when we play games. Many a time, someone has been brought to tears (myself included) because they were losing and/or being taunted by the other players. I do remain proud, however, that we've never had to bring in the police to settle our disputes...

Man assaults family when UNO game goes bad, police say
By Scott Sherman
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated:08/18/2009 09:53:13 AM MDT

An Orem man whose luck ran out in a game of UNO was arrested for aggravated assault after police say he smacked a 64-year-old woman and then threatened her husband with a large kitchen knife.

The 58-year-old man, who had been drinking, was playing cards in his home about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday with his 47-year-old nephew and the nephew's wife near 400 East and 1800 South.

He became agitated and smacked the woman on the back of the head. When his nephew told him to stop, the man reached up to do it again, said Orem police Lt. Gary Downey.

The couple decided to leave and gathered their belongings. The man grabbed his nephew's arm and punched him, Downey said. The nephew pushed the man, and the two continued fighting.

When the nephew was walking out the door to leave, his uncle shoved him in the back. The 47-year-old turned to see his uncle standing in the doorway holding a large kitchen knife.

Downey said the uncle was threatening him with the knife and ordering the pair to leave.

Police arrested the man on suspicion of aggravated assault, as well as for three outstanding warrants of aggravated assault, simple assault and driving under the influence.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Putting things off...

Ever had one of those days where you just can't dig up the motivation to be a productive, contributing member of society? seems I've been having more of those lately. The results?
  • Piles of clean laundry I rifle through every morning to find something to wear.
  • Checks stacking up that need to be cashed at the bank.
  • Two dishwasher loads full of dishes that I ALONE use.
  • Almost (note the word almost) outright refusal to try to stomach the work projects that I don't want to face.
  • Two clogged drains I can't seem to bother pouring Drano down...
  • A bedtime that has crept frighteningly closer and closer to midnight on weekdays. (Who would have thought I'd be putting off sleep!?)
  • A TiVo with 10 episodes of Jeopardy on it. (Even my leisure time is getting procrastinated!)
  • All of these fun pictures on my this post. Yep, I looked for a good fifteen minutes to find these suckers. I hope you all appreciate my hard work!

And in regards to the above 'putting off' of things, I keep telling myself, "Eh, it's no big deal." At least I'm not in school or something. But guess what's been nagging at the back of my brain? A Master's degree... (Just a thought, people...please no congratulations or freaking out!) Yet I know my procrastinational tendencies would throw a huge wrench in the works and make it more like suffering rather than actual learning. Honestly, I don't know how I survived 17 years of schooling...

What is the reason behind all of this procrastination as of late? I'd like to say that it's because of something awesome like that I am training for a marathon or writing a novel or that I had a garden I looked after or that there were small children in Africa I was helping. Nope. A tiny part of me wishes I could even blame it on a health problem (not that I'm hoping for some disastrous issue to arise...) because I would have some sort of an excuse at least. Nope. I have none. I owe it all to one cause: sheer apathy.

The thing is, I don't like procrastinating. It makes me anxious. I'm fairly certain that my tendency to put things off has a much deeper foundational meaning (deeper than I'd like to delve at the moment), but let's go with some fairly obvious things. Sometimes life is difficult. So we put off the pain. I guess we think that by soothing our fears and anxiety with something numbing or relaxing that it will help ease us away from all the terrors that life has ready to dish out. WRONG. I've discovered that delaying that distress (at least for me) just creates a pit in my stomach whose size corresponds to all of the things that get adding up on my list of things I need to accomplish. What I'm really trying to say here is that I need to lighten up and stop trying to save the world one task at a time. I mean, seriously, no one will die if my wall hangings wait another week or two to go up on in my new place. So why am I letting it make me physically ill?

Check boxes make me feel good...filling in those boxes is catharsis for me. So here's a little trick I matter how menial the chore, I add it to my never-ending task list. Shower? Why yes, I did, thank you. Check. I've also had to learn, however, that there's always going to be something else I should be doing. And I can either get ulcers about that or learn to be a tad spontaneous and shirk the work for a little bit. See how this becomes a vicious cycle?!

So what's the solution? Get off my lazy duff and get my to-do list in gear? Bribe myself with rewards for even the littlest achievements? Do I just have ADD to some enormous degree?! Can I ever get my life balanced to the point where I don't feel like I'm constantly dropping some sort of metaphoric ball? Obviously something's gotta

Bob: Baby steps.

Marvin: It means setting small, reasonable goals for yourself. One day at a time. One tiny step at a time--do-able, accomplishable goals.

Bob: Baby steps.

I will think of things in tiny managable segments. No longer can I look at my house and think, " will NEVER be clean!" I can clean my kitchen tonight. That will be goal number one. Hopefully that will get the ball rolling...

Friday, August 7, 2009

I'm an anti-dentite.

**WARNING: this is a boring/somewhat of 'too much information' post about the dentist. If you're grossed out or freaked out by teeth stories, do not continue! You have been fairly warned.**

I went to the dentist today. My insurance is offering awesome deals for us for the rest of the year...basically everything's covered until the end of 2009. I'm not letting that pass me by! So I asked around and found a dentist in Salt Lake.

A little background...for five years, I didn't have dental insurance. I'd always been told I had good teeth, though, so I wasn't too worried about it. My molars weren't malfunctioning, so I went on my merry brushing and flossing ways. When I finally got insurance, I hustled my way into the DDS and got my chompers all cleaned and fixed up. They told me I had a little bit of a problem with receding gums, but that it wasn't much to worry about. Ok, so I would brush without as much force, and I'd vow to floss better and more.

Now here we are, seven months later, and I'm back to the Tooth Man. The hygienist gets going trying to find "pockets" and showing me a fake set of teeth and gums (yikes!). She then proceeds to freak me out by telling me that the bones that hold my teeth in are disappearing. What the...? How did this happen?!

Also, there were stains on my teeth, somewhat reminscent of what a smoker or coffee-drinker would have. I was confused, because I was thinking maybe it was plaque or some other gum disease eating away at my front teeth. My beautiful front teeth! Don't worry, the hygienist was perplexed as well. We were trying to think if maybe I drank too much Diet Coke or something (nope)... here's what we discovered: my mouthwash has been staining my teeth! I started using the ProHealth stuff by Crest, and it is wonderful (up until today, I guess!). It doesn't burn, and it isn't too strong or overwhelming. BUT APPARENTLY IT WILL STAIN YOUR TEETH. She got them all polished, and now I can rest assured that as long as I change mouthwash brands, all will be well.

The girl running the show was kind of hilarious. I mentioned that my family mocked me for my 'beaver teeth' all growing up. She laughed and then said, "That's horrible!!" Then later she was telling me things and said something about fixing my 'beaver teeth.' I guess she thought it was ok since that's how I referred to them. I even told her about the song my family made up about how much wood could I chuck if I could chuck wood.

Long story short, I have a couple more appointments for them to deep clean my stupid gums. And I now have an aching mouth and a fear of eating anything that will dirty my pearly whites.

I am now officially an 'anti-dentite.'

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

By reading this post, you agree to participate in a research project...

Lately I feel like I need to stretch my wings a little, broaden my horizons, forge new frontiers...and any other cliche you can think of that means I am trying to get on board with new things. So, I'm looking for a little help! Below I've listed things I'm interested in. Please respond with something you're pretty sure most people have never heard of or things that are new and innovative. For all of your answers, please explain why you like what you do.

You can respond one of two ways: a) copy and paste the list below and your answers into a comment to add to this post; OR b) copy and paste it into a blog post of your own! Either way, you'll be doing me a great service, and maybe we can all help each other discover cool things.

New read (book, magazine, etc.):
YouTube clip:
Board game:
Restaurant (preferrably around the SLC area):
Hiking spot:
Funny blog:
Clothes shopping website:
Food (something foreign, perhaps?):

If you can't think of some answers, dig deeper! Ok, just kidding...just fill out as many as you can. I'm excited to hear from you all!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Status updates--Facebook style.

I've found myself thinking things to myself in the form of Facebook status updates. It's kind of ridiculous, eh? Here are just a few that you might enjoy from the last few days:

* ... hates it when drivers turning right try to give drivers turning left the right of way. LEARN HOW TO DRIVE!

* ... just bought The Black Donnellys on eBay for only $8.95. Booyah.

* ... needs to sew a new snap on her shirt because the one on there keeps popping open and leaving things not so "up to the imagination."

* ... doesn't want to give you her phone number, creepy boy.

* ... started reading Harry Potter VII again because there's so much she forgot!

* ... laughed so hard when her 17-month-old niece fell asleep reading the coupon book.

* ... thought about calling the constable to see if he's served that dumb girl her court papers yet...but that thought only led to "the constable's responstable..." which led to a Mary Poppins sing-along in her head.

* ... wishes you could figure out how to edit a word document, old man. Are my instructions not clear?!

* ... loves little Oreos. I feel kind of like Cookie Monster just stuffing my face full of them, though...

* ... wants a magical, self-cleaning bathroom. Poof! Sparkling...

I'm kind of pathetic.

Love lessons from the 80s (sort of...)

I was talking with a friend about how awesome figuring "love" out is. She reminded me of this little bit from The Wedding Singer:

Sometimes it's true. LOVE STINKS.

...and sometimes it's cute and fun...and includes Billy Idol.

Who needs real life when you've got sappy chick flicks to serve as a foundation for expectations?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

See...I *told* ya.

Was I right? Happy weekend post time... (And points to whomever can name the movie my blog post title comes from.)

I LOVE weekends. Last night was fantastic. I love low-key fun time with the family; last night we got together to play a bunch of board games. It does get competitive, but if you're going to learn a new game, it's good to be familiar with the people you're with so you kind of know reactions and strategy types. I ended up buying a game called Curses. I've never actually played it, but I've heard from several people that it's hilarious and good for big groups. Exactly my kind of thing! I get it tomorrow. People will need to come play it with me...

And then, today was fabulous. I love hanging out with the new ward (it really is getting easier!). AND I LOVE WATERSKIING. Our ward had a big activity where we went waterskiing up at Pineview Reservoir. Well, wakeboarding...basically the same. I'm no pro, but I can get up and stay up for awhile. The water was a little choppy, but I was not complaining.

Boat + Water + Sun + Fun people + Food = Complete satisfaction. I don't get to go very often, so I just soak it in when I have a chance to go out on the lake and feel that wind in my hair. I was sitting on the boat today thinking, "Man, can't this moment just last forever? I would like to freeze time for just a little bit so I can relish the greatness." It was one of those times where you can just feel the real world slip away.

I got a little sun. I ate a hot dog. I got to meet new people. Basically, Veni Vidi Vici. I wish I had gotten some pictures of the crazy times we had. I almost got dragged into the water as we were playing 500 (that takes me back...and yes, I do throw like a girl). I learned how to play hacky sack ('learned' is a strong word...I kind of sucked). I got to sink my toes into wet sand and take a nap in the shade. I hereby declare that all weekends should include boats.