Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Subtle Clues

There are moments in life when you realize life has trying to tell you something. I had one of those the other morning. I was driving home from work and realized that I'd been listening to the same CD in my car for the past two weeks. Over and over and over on repeat. It's the only thing I was ever in the mood to listen to. I had originally burned the CD with some degree of apprehension because the only two times I listened to the playlist previously were a) in a bubble bath and b) on an airplane to drift off to sleep --95% of the time before take-off. It was almost like a sacred playlist, one only two be used for my two favorite activities: bubble baths and traveling. I can only remember two occasions when I made it past the first two songs while on an airplane, it relaxed me that fast and I was out. But I was burning CDs to keep the 6-disc changer of my car for when I got tired of the radio (which happens frequently). I had made one of my favorite Kenny Chesney songs, one with angry girl music, Frank Sinatra, the Wicked soundtrack, and my favorites from Rent/Phantom/Les Mis. I had one spot left so I burned the list to a disc. My ultimate relaxation lullaby/bubble bath mix. This is the CD that has been on repeat for two weeks. I think life was trying to tell me that i needed to take a minute and relax, that I was running myself ragged. Thank goodness for my upcoming vacation this weekend, I am in dire need of some r&r!!!  In case any of you could use the same message, the following is my top-secret bread-and-butter fail-proof relaxation list. It started as a disney/lullaby list that got me through nursing school and working nights in a nursing home, evolved into a relaxing "driving through terrible Logan winter weather" mix, and it's been tweaked several times since by different places, faces, and memories. Here's the current list --in order of course :) Put in on for a nice relaxing bubble bath in candle light. It's pure magic, I swear!

1.  All Will Be Forgotten --Holly Brook
2.  Clair de Lune --The APM Orchestra
3.  Ordinary Miracle --Sarah McLachlan (linked video is seriously worth watching)
4.  Bubbly Toes --Jack Johnson
5.  What a Wonderful World --Louis Armstrong
6.  Still, Still, Still --Jon Schmidt (this one soothed me to sleep on many a restless night)
7.  Come Away With Me --Norah Jones
8.  Ten Thousand Angels --Cademon's Call
9.  Somewhere Over the Rainbow --Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole
11. Old Blue Chair --Kenny Chesney (Ah, Kenny. Sigh.)
12. So You Are To Me --East Mountain South
13. Baby of Mine --Alison Krauss
14. Orange Sky --Alexi Murdoch
17. Rain City --Turin Brakes
18. You and Tequila --Kenny Chesney (feat. Grace Potter)

Wow kinda feels like I betrayed a deep personal secret sharing that...but I know you'll enjoy it, it really is magic. Special props to Old Blue Chair matter where I am or what my mood is, that song takes me to such a calm relaxed zen place, instantly transporting me to wherever I want to be. What is it about music?  Crazy. Love.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Growing Pains

So the past couple snow days I've been enjoying a lot of scrapbooking and season three of The OC. Don't judge. Today I watched the episode where the kids graduated from high school. I found myself shedding tears over memories. Do you remember high school graduation?  It was a bit sad for me, thinking about not seeing my friends as often, and for some, perhaps never again, but mostly it was a day of sheer joy, accomplishment, and possibility. There you were, standing on the precipice of the rest of your life, looking ahead into the golden horizon. There was nothing but possibility, nothing but opportunity, nothing but good and exciting things to come. College graduation wasn't even quite the same. By then you had some life experience. You'd begun to taste reality of life as an adult, and this time when you stood on that precipice, the horizon was full of greens and blues and hues of the real world. What was ahead of you was still opportunity, but on a different scale. What was ahead of you was your life, and you had made decisions --unwittingly shutting some doors, whereas at high school graduation every single door was open to you. Granted no door can be shut permanently, but it's not realistic to keep all doors open and just stand there. At some point you have to go through a few of them, and that's what college and choosing a career path is about.

So as I lay on the couch cuddled in my blanket with my hot chocolate, snowed in with tv shows of years gone by, I shed a tear. I found myself longing for the days full of exhilarating possibility and the drive to get going to see where your life would take you. That first feeling of free-falling into adulthood that was pure adrenaline. I found myself longing for more possibility, more opportunity.  And then I thought again. What you gain in those years of reality and growing up and college and life experiences is, well, experience. You gain love, you know hurt, you discover new things, new places. I had been feeling like experience was anchoring me down, making me feel smothered and claustrophobic by the lack of abounding new possibility and opportunity. But it isn't really that way, is it?  I mean, yes, once you've done and seen things once, it will never be new again, but that doesn't mean there aren't new mountains to be tackled right?

The real answer I suppose is somewhere in between. I don't know that it's possible to retain that high-school graduation feeling of impenetrable hope and conquer the world spirit. After all, as you begin conquering, there is simply fewer new things to conquer. But I don't think that's all bad. You learn that there are bumps in the road, holes in the bucket, and sometimes it's hard to make them worth something. Sometimes there might not be good to be found in all of them. For the most part though, you learn that though the bumps hurt and the holes drain sometimes more quickly than we'd like, there is a beauty to be found in the experience. So you trudge on, sometimes with heavier boots than others. I think there is a challenge in finding new things and in continuing to keep a piece of that spirit with you as you learn and grow. And that, my friends, is today's thought.  Happy sleeping, and good-night!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


That's what they're calling the winter storm hitting the Pac NW as we speak. It will give many of you great giggles to know that there is a predicted 2 inches today and 4-6 tomorrow and people have emptied out grocery stores and stocked enough fuel for their cars for the end of the world.  Seriously. I went to the grocery store last night when I got off work at 0330 to get some chicken noodle soup I had been craving.  The store was packed. At 0330. And there were lines at the gas station. At 0330. And it's going to be raining again in 3 days. As in the rain will wash all the snow away. The massive couple inches that will effectively shut down an entire city. No exaggeration.

You will also be glad to know that I made it safely home from work during the frightening snowmageddon. There was even two full inches of fluffy glittery snow on my car when I left work. The roads were icy and un-plowed, the snow was falling, and I have a 4-cylinder car with front wheel drive. And I do not own chains. Or snow tires --if I didn't need them in Logan, I don't need them here. And I made it home safely, up hills, and down hills, all by myself like a big girl!  In all seriousness though, the following video effectively illustrates why a mere two inches of snow effectively shuts an entire city down. It was from Monday's two inches.  Intersection of Boren Ave. and University St.

A few tips for my Seattle friends, and anyone else unfamiliar with driving in the snow:

  • If you don't have to (Drs, RNs, firefighters, police, etc) DON'T drive.
  • If there is even a remote possibility that you would ever simply abandon your car and start walking down the freeway, planning to come back and retrieve your car when the snow has stopped, do not even leave your house to get in your car. (I wish I was making up the fact that that's what people do here. In no more than two inches of snow.)
  • If you must drive in the snow, go slow.
  • Do not change speeds or directions quickly. Meaning don't slam on your breaks, slam on the gas pedal or make any sharp turns. 
  • To stop on ice, pump your breaks.
  • To go down a hill down-shift your car. To first or second gear. Do NOT ride your breaks down the entire hill.
  • On second thought... just call someone who knows how to drive in the stuff. Sans chains, sans 4-wheel drive.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Quick Reply

I like to think that someone was listening when I wrote yesterday's post (see below) because tonight's sunset was even better!  Love.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wisdom of Old Age

I'm a worrier. I worry a lot. I worry that I'm not good enough. I worry about how my failings and shortcomings affect other people. I worry that when I tell my dad I'll call him the next day but then I forget until long after he's asleep --I worry that he thinks I forgot him, I worry that he waited and waited and waited and I let him down. I worry that I've deprived my parents of walking me down the aisle and of grandchildren, and that I've let them down, do they really know that's what I yearn for most one day? I worry that I worry too much and can be a drain on my friends and family. I worry that I'll wear them out and will be left ultimately alone.  I feel bad on a personal level when I can't fix things. And so, I worry. And many may say that my worries are unfounded; That my dad clearly had more to do in his day than sit around waiting for me to call; that I'm still young; that it's not practical to fix every problem of everyone else that you come across in life.  It eats away at me for hours when I miss an IV attempt on the most difficult of patients (even if I had just got the IV on the chubby dehydrated six-month old that four other people were unable to get).  I know that some say that it's impossible to be perfect always, but still, I worry. And I cry, and I have a hard time sleeping. So sometimes I make lists. I make lists of all the worries swimming in my mind preventing it from silence and rest. I write them down and it sets them free.  At least for the night. Sometimes I write the same thing consecutively for many days. Sometimes I write nothing, because sometimes I'm at peace with me.  And that's what part of my New Year's Resolution is about. Being a more kind person --especially to myself.  So I try. I try every day to trade in my worries for thoughts of accomplishments and happiness. For thoughts of blessings and good fortune.

Along those lines, I'm quite enjoying my classes this quarter. I'm taking an elective class on the assessment of the older adult. The first week of class we were assigned to read a book written by K. Eileen Allen, a 90 year old woman from Seattle, entitled "I Like Being Old." I was surprised by how much I enjoyed and related to the book.  It wasn't just about how to age gracefully and avoid dependent living, it was about life lessons applicable to all ages.  She states that for her happiness is finding the balance between reaching out to people and spending time with herself. I like that. She says that happiness is getting rid of the "oughts." She no longer fees bound by other people's ideas of how she should live her life or even by what she thought she "had to do" earlier in her life. What a beautiful philosphy is that?! And why do we have to wait until we're 90 to figure that out?  She spends some time talking about being grateful to be aware that she's happy, and that happiness is an "inside job" after all. Love. She says, "A dazzling sunrise offers it's glory for only a few moments, and I miss the joy it brings if I don't acknowledge it right then and there."  She's also realistic. I love that she no longer believes that every cloud has a silver lining --because quite frankly, sometimes, they don't. She speaks on the importance of meditation, something I'd really like to implement into my life, and perhaps this quote spoke the most to me:

                    "It feels good to quiet myself, be in the here and now, and not worry about what 
                     happened yesterday or will happen tomorrow. Old perfectionist me often feels 
                     I'm not doing a good enough job... But when I stop stewing over what's wrong, 
                                         I'm able to see my virtues more than my faults."

She concludes that "Life is a gift and a giver of gifts to be treasured and rejoiced in each day. Life is impartial, neither singling me out for special favors nor to be a victim. Being happy acknowledges the gifts of this world and living happy is up to me."  So tonight as I get ready for bed instead of letting worries cloud my pretty little head, I'll write them down and let them go. I'll look at myself in the mirror as I wash my face and acknowledge that I am beautiful. I'll remember the beautiful picture from the drive home of the orange painted sky bleeding into the orange-hued lake --a crystal clear and still reflection of the surrounding shore and brilliant sky. The glistening snow-capped Olympic Mountains off in the distance.  And I'll pledge to be more grateful, more aware, and more happy tomorrow. Not every cloud has a silver lining, and not every day is happy, but acknowledging the little things and the little moments that we're happy is a beautiful start.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Or Maybe Instead...

I came on today with intentions of writing about feelings and things that were on my mind. I even have it all written out on paper and it's beautiful, but that's where it will stay. Do you ever with you were brave enough to put what's really on your mind out there for the world to see?   Sometimes I am, but tonight is not one of those nights, and sometimes things have to be just yours I think.  So instead, here's the latest thing on Pinterest that makes me giggle, Truths For Mature Humans:

1.  I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2.  Nothing sucks more than that moment in an argument when you realize you are wrong.

3.  I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4.  There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5.  How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet? (I actually learned the answer tot his one on Martha Stewart, but it's still funny)

6.  Was learning cursive really necessary? (I think it was --I quite like the fancy-ness of it)

7.  MapQuest needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my own neighborhood.

8.  Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how people died.

9.  I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10.  Bad decisions make good stories.

11.  You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12.  Can we all agree to just ignore whatever comes after bluray? I don't want to have to start my collection ...again.

13.  I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14.  "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this. Ever.

15.  I hate it when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? ****it!) But when I immediately call back it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16.  I hate leaving my house confident and looking great and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17.  I keep some people's numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18.  I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

19.  I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.

20.  I wish google maps had an "avoid ghetto" routing option.

21.  Sometimes I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

22.  I would rather try to carry ten over-loaded plastic bags in each hand than take two trips to bring my groceries in.

23.  The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

24.  I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

25.  How many times is it appropriate to say  "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

26.  I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong brothers and sisters!

27.  Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

28.  Is it just me, or do high school kids get dumber and dumber every year?

29.  There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning back in your chair a little too far.

30.  As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers. But no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate bicyclists.

31.  Sometimes I'll look down at my watch three consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

32.  Even under ideal conditions people have a hard time locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell-phone, and pinning the tail on the donkey --but I'd bet my *** everyone can find and push the snooze button from three feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011. Hmm.

For me 2011 was kind of a wash of a year. Just there. Kind of like being 24. Not great, not terrible, just there. I started my second bachelors degree program, said goodbye to my dear Nellie, went to Boston form St. Patty's day, New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and Tampa for the first time. I got my CEN certification, saw my baby sister get married, fell even more in love with my nephew, and laughed a lot. Oh did I laugh. And I cried. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. Sometimes lone tears and sometimes therapeutic heaving sobs on the couch. Strong emotion of any sort will elicit one of two responses if not both from me. Tears or vomit. Sometimes one leads to another.  I worried about my family, I worried about me, and I made things happen. I can't say that I've completed operation find myself yet, but I can say that I've made progress. I've read a lot, I've listened a lot, I've written a lot, and I've loved a lot.  I think that one thing I'd like to resolve to work more on this year is being kind. First of all to myself, and then to others whom it is not easy to be kind to.  

Why is it that we villianize people? Have you ever thought about that? Why is it easier to make someone a bad person if you don't like them?  Why is it so hard to realize that  it is possible for someone to be a truly good person, and be no good for you at the same time. Why do we live in a society of "or" and "but?"  I think I'll work on replacing "but" with and. Few truths are mutually exclusive. Isn't that an interesting discovery about growing up? It's not "you want this to happen, but I want this to happen" it's "you want this to happen and I want this to happen." Do you see the difference? Two truths. Perhaps in complete opposition, but truths none the less.  Not, I'm pretty but I'm overweight, I'm pretty and I'm overweight. There's such a keen difference!  And it's okay for both sides to be true. Kind of an interesting philosophical ponderance :)  It's gonna be a great year!!  Also up this year are Phoenix, Georgia, NYC, Greece, graduation, and Portugal... Yay :)