Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Over-stimulated Introvert

They say God is omnipotent, which means that he knows everything about everything.  Between my job as project manager and my overbooked social calendar, I'm starting to feel the same way.  But instead of making me more godlike, it's just making me annoyed.

I may be all-knowing, but it's stressing me out.  I have too many tabs open in my brain, and it's particularly hard to focus today.  The fact that Animaniacs songs are running on repeat in my head isn't exactly helping.

Basically, I'm overstimulated, which is bad news for an introvert like me.  Things are too loud, too distracting.  I feel the need to unplug everything and sit in a dark room until I can close a few tabs.  Don't call me.  Don't text me.  Someone take Facebook off my phone.  Or just take my phone.  Give me a book and some wine and lock me in for a few hours.

Current mood.

So I don't want to blog, because I can't focus.  Or, I want to blog, but I can't focus long enough to blog about anything particular.  Which tab to pick?  There's so many.  Too many.  And why don't I think about this other thing?  Or that?  Hey, the phone just rang.  There's an e-mail.  Oh, I need to do this.  And that.  And finish that first thing.  Do I need to call my mom tonight?  What should dinner be?  Did I leave the coffeemaker plugged in?

I definitely don't need overly-catchy cartoon show songs playing in a loop.  I'd like to close that tab, but it's like a bad pop-up.  I'll keep trying, but I can't guarantee success without a complete reboot.

I don't need to worry the things I have no control over.  There are lots of those.  At least ten different tabs worth.  All the things I can't change, or at least can't affect at the moment.  Bookmark those and come back at a later date.

I don't need to worry about disappointing people when I can't hang out.  I can't do it all, as hard as I try or want to, and this past weekend is a great example of why trying to do everything and see everyone is a generally bad idea.  I felt like I barely had time to enjoy whatever I was doing because I was worrying about when I needed to leave for my next event.  And after a non-stop weekend of work, hanging out, working out, and making dinner for my parents (my mom fell and has a double fracture in her ankle), I feel like I blew a fuse somewhere.  Some routine maintenance needs to be done, but unfortunately I haven't had much time to turn everything off and turn it back on again.

It's getting bad enough that Mark and I are both ridiculously pleased with the fact that we have absolutely no plans this week.  We're currently trying our best to save money and eat at home as much as possible anyway, but the alone time is as much a bonus as anything else.  He apologized for not coming home and doing chores, and I'm like, "Please.  I barely did laundry over the weekend.  Let's sit here and watch Netflix for two hours."

Maybe by this upcoming weekend I'll be operating at factory settings again.

Until then, please bear with me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pretty Strong

Before a few years ago, I never considered myself to be physically strong.  Gym was my least favorite "class," and I was practically grateful when I had scoliosis surgery in 5th grade and had to be excused from gym participation for most of that year and the next one.  Never once in yearly health evaluations was I able to do a pull-up.

In high school, my chosen sport was bowling.  My mom wanted me to play tennis, and I distinctly remember looking at her like she was crazy.  Tennis?  You mean, running around after a ball?  In the sun? Trying to not get hit in the face with a ball?  Hand-eye coordination?  Ha!

I've never wanted much to do with physical exertion.  I prefer activities that don't involve breaking a sweat.  You know, like reading.  Knitting.  Napping.  Things like that.

I fully acknowledge that going to the gym is a useful activity if I want to keep eating as much as I want to and still fit in all my clothing (more useful than napping, regrettably).  However, I've never been great about sticking it out at the gym.  I've had a few gos at it over the years, without really knowing what I was doing or enjoying it that much.  It just didn't ever appeal much to me.  All that walking and biking without getting anywhere.  The sweating.  Not knowing what to do with weights in general.  Just, ugh.

Then I discovered pole dancing.  And then I started to get stronger.  For the first time in my life, I had upper body strength.

The transformation was certainly not overnight.  It was ages before I could do certain things that other people got practically immediately, like invert.  But, I got there.  And now I can do some pretty cool things that I never dreamed I'd be able to do.

Around the beginning of January (and having nothing to do with New Year's resolutions, thank you), I started going to the gym again, for the first time in a few years, this time with Team Bellers as my new workout partners.  This time, I had a different purpose.  Before, I've always had the goal of just "losing weight."  Not that I ever achieved it.  Or really felt like I achieved much of anything besides getting sweaty and hanging out with whatever workout partner I had at the time.

Losing weight isn't my goal anymore.  If it happens, I obviously won't be complaining.  But my goal now is just to "be stronger."

I've been stronger than I look since I started doing pole.  Repeatedly lifting your body weight will do that to a girl (or a guy).  I've had people offer to help me with something I'm carrying and then been surprised at how heavy it was once I handed it over.  I like that.  I like being strong.  I like not being helpless, not being a wilting flower.

The last time I took a stab at working out, several years ago, I distinctly remember my ex telling me that he didn't want me to work out too much because he didn't want me to get "too muscular."  He implied that I wouldn't be attractive or feminine if I were too strong.  This was just another in a long list of "too's" I couldn't or shouldn't be, according to him.  I couldn't be too tall.  I couldn't be too sexy.  I couldn't be too muscular.

Well, fuck that.

Last Friday, I flipped a tractor tire for the first time.  And I deadlifted my own weight.  I bench pressed 70 pounds over a month ago.

I pole dance.  I haul heavy equipment around for work.  I help move cabinets and bookcases.

And you know what?  I don't think I'm any less attractive or feminine for my ability to do any of that.  I'm hardly bulging with muscles.  I'm not going to be a bodybuilder by any means, and I don't want to be.  I have biceps, of course.  I'm stronger than I used to be.

And my boyfriend is the one there, telling me he knew I could do it, or telling me I can bench press more weight.  And that doesn't make him somehow feel less secure in his manhood.  Why should it?  I still want to be with him, and he wants to be with me.  That's the important thing.  Not whether or not I fit into some stupid controlling, demeaning box of being "just right."

Ladies (and gentlemen), let me tell you something I've learned: don't ever let someone's ridiculous idea of what and who you "should" be stop you from achieving what you want to.  Don't limit yourself for someone else's approval.  Don't put yourself in someone else's box.

It's not worth it.  It's not worth worrying if you're good enough, or attractive enough, or submissively feminine enough.

What is worth it?  Having a partner who is a cheerleader instead of a puppet master.  Having friends who think it's ridiculously awesome that you flipped a goddamn tractor tire.  Being confident in who you are and doing what makes you happy.

It's all so, so worth it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Let's Taco 'Bout It

When in doubt, tacos fix everything.

At least, that seems to be the case this week, so I'm just going to assuming this is a multi-platform solution.

It hasn't been the greatest week, again.  Thunder's trial adoption did not go well, to say the least, so I picked him up on Sunday.  He was pleased.  I was annoyed, as pictured below:

Furthermore, last week's funk carried over into this week, leaving me somewhat of a depressed mess by the time Monday came around.

I slept a lot over the weekend.  I mostly failed at accomplishing much of anything besides baking challah for the first time.

I started taxes on Saturday.  I encountered problems with said taxes.

I finished taxes on Monday afternoon, which is when I realized that I made 10 grand less in 2015 than I did in 2014.  Which is understandable, as I was mostly unemployed for part of the year.  But it reminded me again, and so very acutely, that I'm more than getting by on a significantly smaller amount of money than at any time while I was married and allegedly had money problems.  (Well, I did have at least one actual money problem, but it was the problem I married.)

It still completely baffles and infuriates me how it's possible that I have more money now on one, smaller, salary than I did for years on two similar and larger salaries.  In January alone I spent several thousand dollars on new stuff, a car repair, and basically a new winter wardrobe.  And I went on an out-of-the-country vacation.  And I still can afford things and pay my bills.  I could never have done that while I was married.  Never.  Maybe the car repair.


There just... was never any money.  And I still don't get it.  I just don't.  I don't know where it went.

And, really, I never will know.  And I need to get over that.  Obviously not today.  But maybe one day.

(Honestly, I wasn't going to dwell on this, but there are apparently two things that are certain in my life: divorce and taxes.)

Regardless, those thoughts did not help the mini-depression, and the mini-depression did not help the thoughts, and so I was not in a great state when Mark got home.

Unfortunately, neither of us really knows how to deal with me when I'm feeling sad and sorry for myself.  This isn't surprising.  I don't know what I want; how is anyone else supposed to know?  I want to be alone but don't want to be left alone.  I want to be held but don't want to be pitied and therefore act stand-offish.  I want to wallow and I want to snap out of it.  I don't want to talk about it, because I'm not even sure what there is to talk about, so I bottle everything up until I pass the breaking point.

It's ridiculous and probably why I used to drink to deal with it, because I don't have any better ideas on what to do.

In lieu of alcohol, Mark resorted to holding me until I finally cried, and then buying me tacos.

Because what else is there to do when your girlfriend is depressed for no apparent reason?

Well, it worked.  We went to Taco Circus.  We ate tacos.  We came home and watched Today's Special on Netflix (a great little film that I highly recommend) and snuggled on the couch.

And so I have arrived at the brilliant conclusion that tacos fix everything (which I have already suspected before now).

Okay.  Obviously, it's not just the tacos (though really, they're amazing tacos, so their contribution should not be overlooked).  It's spending quality time with the person I love.  It's physical touch.  It's being alone together.  It's being forced to break down and be vulnerable and cry even though I hate it. 

Basically, he followed the steps of "How to Care for a Sad Person" without realizing it (minus rolling me up like sushi).

Thankfully, I've been better the past two days (though we had Mexican again last night, just in case).

However, now Thunder seems to have caught whatever weird vibes have been going around.  Or he's just mad that I tried to get rid of him.  Or that he hasn't gotten any tacos.

Can't say I blame him.  Because if you haven't been to Taco Circus, like Thunder, you probably should go.  It's the best little hole-in-the-wall street taco place I've been to in the area.  We keep meaning to try the burrito (which is allegedly enormous), but keep getting stuck on the Tour de Taco (we substitute one ground beef taco for a second pork), because it's perfect to split.  They've got a whole fridge full of sauces, including a Burnie Sanders sauce, and pretty addicting queso.

So there it is.  Taxes, depression, tips on dealing with sad people, and a taco shop review, all in one blog.  Even I didn't see that coming.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bad Attitude, No Waiting?

It might be time to spring clean my attitude.

(Not to mention my apartment.)

I've been in a mostly-self-induced funk for what feels like a week.  Part of it is being tired and busy and having too-little down time.  Part of it is Mark is also in a understandable funk over the loss of his family dog, and since we're apparently psychically linked, it's tough to be in a good mood when he isn't.  Part of it is being a Benedryl zombie for part of the week.  Part of it is I'm stressing about Thunder getting (hopefully) adopted this weekend.  Part of it is... I don't know what.  General malaise?  Not enough introverting? A pathetic lapse in my yoga practice?  Not eating well? Not getting a selfie with my favorite Jack Sparrow impersonator at Comic Con this year?

It all adds up. (Particularly that last one.)

"Blah" accurately describes the way I feel right now.

So.  Cleaning is needed.  There are cobwebs hanging around, keeping the light from getting in.  All the things I should be excited about seem duller than they should be.  And it sucks.  Because there's a lot of really exciting things going on, or potentially going to be going on.  There's been a lot of good news and big decisions and things to look forward to.

There's so much more than this drab week.

The very thought that Thunder has gotten far enough along in the adoption process to be going on a trial adoption this weekend should be nothing less than amazing.  This is the dog I've had for over a year.  The dog who I often wondered would ever get to the point of being adoptable.  The dog who truly earned the nickname "fuzzy asshole." The dog who has become so much better of a dog than I thought possible.  The dog who always insists on being my co-pilot.  The dog who I'll miss in spite of myself.

And, even though I tragically didn't get a selfie with my favorite Jack Sparrow impersonator, I did get to return to Comic Con as the Girl Wonder (and work with Mark, who is better than any Jack Sparrow, real or otherwise).  We got to spend 4 hours Sunday wrangling nerds (my favorite people) into the Fish Eye Fun White Screen booth, and then wander around the convention and gaze upon Daredevil and Foggy from afar.

Another really awesome thing that I should be pretty damn excited about?  I've officially been the Fish Eye Fun project manager for a whole year, as of yesterday!  (I knew I wasn't done celebrating anniversaries.)  It actually seems hard to believe that I've been doing this for so long.  I guess time flies when you're ridiculously busy and generally like what you do.

So yes.  This week kindof blows.  But it happens.  It's not the end of the world.

Besides, with any luck, by the time next week I'll be living in a temporarily dog-free apartment for the first time in over a year.  Weird.

Maybe then I actually will get some cleaning done.