Stuff People Say – French Technology

I was showing Ben’s mom a book that I got in Paris.  Ben’s three-year-old wanted to see and hold it.  I handed the book to her.

How do you turn it on?
–Dora

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Random Saturdays – Our Friend, Ron

Well, well, well, if it isn’t me again.  It’s been awhile since I last wrote, I know.  It’s mostly due to lack of time.  I used to have a very structured life with lots of routines, but it was very empty.  If I had a lack of time, it was usually because I was so depressed that all I could do was sleep.  When I came out of my depression phases, I had to “catch up” on life.  Now, my life is very full, but there’s not much structure or routine.  I’m fine with that, though.  Ben continually apologizes for messing up my routines, but I keep reassuring him that losing my routines is a very small sacrifice for all the good stuff in my life now.

All that being said, I’ve had some recent changes at work that also allow me a bit of spare time during the day to write a few sentences here and there for this blog.  Yay!

So, I delayed writing a blog post for awhile because I had to think of something to say again.  So much has happened and there are so many funny stories to share, but that just seems overwhelming.  Then, I remembered, this is just a blog and my mom followers probably won’t be as critical of this post as I am of theirs it.

Though this post won’t publish until Saturday, I’m actually starting it on Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday.  At lunch today, Ron mentioned to us that it was Fat Tuesday and I was sad that I didn’t eat more.  My goal is to make up for it at dinner.  I mean, every Tuesday is fat Tuesday for me, but this is Fat Tuesday, like, with both first letters in both words capitalized.  Granted, I don’t observe Lent, but at least I half-ass celebrate something, right?

Let me tell you about my friend, Ron.  He’s filling a position in our group that, since I have been there, has only been filled by crazy a-holes.  Ron is super cool, though.  He gets the group’s weird humor and is sharp as a tack.  He’s also from da skreets like me.  He and Erica are actually closer than he and I are.  I started calling them Ronica last week.  The three of us, though, are Ronicagela, which was too much, so we shortened it to Ronicala, which is still too much.  We were joking last week about getting a Best Friends necklace that was broken into 3 parts.  I still have at least one of those from when Erica and I were kids.  Erica bought us an Oreo cookie necklace to share – Ron and I are cookies and she’s the filling (because we’re Black and she’s White and we’re all racist.)

So, this is not a particularly interesting post, I suppose, but it’s definitely laying the groundwork for future Ronicala stories.  Here is a short list of other topics I considered discussing:

1.  The Minecraft birthday party we planned for Ben’s son this weekend

CM Bingo Trophy

Minecraft goodie bag

2.  The steady stream of illnesses I’ve had since I started dating Ben aka Building my immune system after years of being isolated and alone

3.  Getting stuck in Paris and spending $3000 on a flight home (I spent $1175 on the original RT ticket from US Airways and got $382 of it refunded.  I only had to file for a refund twice.  Boo!)  Speaking of Paris, here is a link to the photos I took while there.

Thanks for reading my return to blogdom!

Random Saturdays – Begin at The End

I’ve been a bit M.I.A. lately, at least as far as this blog is concerned.  Between crazy work stuff, being sick, being depressed, the holidays, Ben, ice storms, and get-togethers with friends that I don’t see often, everything else has been on the back burner.  Having said that, I did want to get at least one real post up before the end of the year.  My one-year blogging anniversary is December 21, 2013, so, I decided to do a sort of year in review post since I’m ending the year in a completely different place in life from where I started in January.

At the beginning of this year, I had a bunch of projects that I wanted to do.  I tried to plan things out and block off my time.  The only things I really did were keep up the blog and learn how to use Inkscape.  I also managed to get into a workout routine until I moved last summer and paid more attention to my daily habits — everything from calorie counting to how often I get headaches and migraines.  It didn’t really help me get healthier, but I did lose weight.

After I started dating Ben, I gained 7 lbs.  I had just started getting back into working out after my summer move, but that stopped, too.  I started slacking on the blog.  I fell behind on email.  I haven’t been reading books or magazines much, either.  I’ve been sick twice in the past two months and think that I’m getting sick again.  In general, it seems like dating Ben did away with the little bit of progress on my goals that I had made, but that’s not really true at all.

Even with tracking my health issues, I wasn’t able to make any improvements in my health before Ben.  Now, I’m paying more attention to how all of my health issues are tied together because they directly affect my emotional and mental well-being, which directly affects Ben and his kids.  Since it’s not just me, my cat, and the t.v., I have more motivation to do something about things that I know need improvement.

When you’re alone and you get sick, it’s easy to just wallow in your self-pity and give up on trying to improve anything.  When I feel like this around Ben and see how worried he gets about me, or when I have to hide from his kids in the bedroom because I don’t want them to see me depressed and get it into their young minds that being mean to yourself is a normal way to think and act, then it suddenly seems more important that I get my crap together.  Granted, I realize that I’ll have to struggle with depression my whole life.  I realize that I can’t change myself overnight.  I realize that when I get sick, things in my body will be thrown off and cause depression on a physiological level that I will just have to learn to handle.

However, I’m trying to be mindful of all of the small things that I still have control over when I’m sick and/or depressed.  When I’m sick, I’m trying to make more of an effort to shake myself out of depression because it directly affects my loved ones.  I’ve always known this, and it’s always been motivating, but Ben and his kids are motivation on a whole different level.  I had no idea that someone like Ben could even exist.  He is a nicer, smarter, better (but not funnier) version of me.  His kids are wonderful – fun, affectionate, smart, and always concerned about how much money I spend on gas and rent.  I don’t want to teach the kids how to hate themselves and I don’t want Ben to have to deal with me hating myself if it can be prevented.  So, even though my projects were all put on the back burner for the last three months of the year, it’s all been for the best.

Furthermore (<- smart word), I’m going to Paris with Cathy for Christmas and New Year’s, a trip that I planned before I started dating Ben.  Since my plane ticket and rental cost of the apartment in Paris are non-refundable, I’m going to suffer through missing Christmas with Ben and his kids and force myself to go to Paris with one of my best friends.  (I’m only half-joking.)  I tell you what, though.  On January 1, 2013, I did not anticipate having a boyfriend with three kids or going to Paris for Christmas.  You never know where life will take you, but you just have to get out of your own way and enjoy what life brings to your table.  I’m trying to be mindful of how lucky I am for my life so that I can fully enjoy the time I spend with my friends and family this year.

I hope you stay mindful this holiday season, too, absorbing all of the joy and love shared between you, your friends, and your family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!