Monday, February 19, 2007

A day not wasted

Even a weekend not wasted. I was Tuckersitting, which really isn't a tough thing to do. Feed him, throw a ball to him and let him sleep on the bed and life is good. That was Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday afternoon, I went out crafting with J's mom and sister. Freaked about it the whole way to his parent's house. "What am I going to talk about? Why did I agree to do this? I'd so rather be hanging out with the darned dog."

Got there, made stuff and had a great time. Was even told I should go to Mexico next time his sister goes. Went home, got groceries, dinner with T and then puppysitting again. Sunday morning I woke to a phone call from J letting me know they were leaving the lake and they'd be home early afternoon. And he missed me.

Today, the long weekend for most folks... I didn't get it off, but took my SDO today anyway. We went shopping. For houses. Show-home shopping. Paint shopping. Shelving shopping. And it was a great day. Full of laughs. The same puzzled looks at some of the bizarre layouts. Hugs. Kisses. It was just...right. Finally.

I fit. With his family. With most of his friends. He's looking forward to a trip to SK this weekend to see my family. He's in my life, a part of my life, and it's where he wants to be. I'm not constantly fighting for time with him. I'm confident I get weekends with him. And I was told I'd get my butt kicked if I curled 3 nights a week again next year because it's too much for me. Well, and he doesn't see me enough. Two people with their own lives, both people making the other a priority.

It's amazing to be a priority.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

There's no excuse. (Sorry folks)

So here we are. Daylight savings time changes are setting our team against each other once again. Yesterday at 4, I'd have sworn the sky was falling. Today, 1/2 the team can't be bothered to attend the meeting to discuss "our" issues.

I've sent a reminder to them. Nothing. Yet, yesterday it was so important that they felt the need to disrupt my work to discuss it. wtf?

And what is with bitter people who don't "get" the valentine's day thing? By that logic, we don't need Mother's day or Father's day either because we appreciate our parents every other day of the year. Why don't people take it as it likely was intended before certain corporate entities took it over as a money-making endeavor. See it as a day to be reminded you need to appreciate that person in your life. Take advantage of the super-sappy, super-fuzzy, super goofy stuff available.

So fine, you do things for them every day of the year. But do you really? Over time that honeymoon period wears off and you start taking each other for granted. When that happens, can you claim that you do it EVERY other day of the year? And if you do it every other day of the year, why would you NOT do something on that one day?

Especially when it gives you a bunch of opportunities to be creative and surprise the other person. Yeah, I'll admit that the typical flowers/dinner/jewelry triad is overdone and so not creative. (do you really get the other person in your life flowers/jewelry/dinners out EVERY day of the year? Be honest.) For most people, it's not realistic to be giving gifts and buying dinners out all that often. So why not do it this one day of the year?

So you're not the super-sappy sort - d'ya think I am? Come on! I'm the first to admit that most days of the year, the last thing I'm thinking of is romance. Even yesterday on that big day of love, I was more concerned with the daylight savings time changes and who is going to be president of our curling club next year than I was with romance.

Last month, as part of his Valentine's gift, I took J to a great hotel and got the jacuzzi suite. No. I don't do that every day of the year. I don't do that monthly. That won't even be yearly. But guess what, it brought him to tears. It still makes him feel special. What's wrong with that?

So you do stuff every day of the year for the person. Ummmm doesn't that mean that that's become just the everyday for them? It isn't special because it's what happens all the time? Don't get me wrong. If you stop, it'll be noticed and the result won't be pretty. The reality is that taking advantage of this one day to do something cool, special and romantic for that person can really make their day. It can make them feel incredibly special and loved and it doesn't have to involve hundreds of dollars.

Be silly, be goofy, cover their bed in little red foam hearts from the dollar store. Write "I love you" in toblerone bars. Dress up in your red long underwear, throw on a pink tutu (and likely a mask) and go shoot 'em with an arrow (ok, not a real arrow. that could hurt). Do something for them that you really don't want to do but you know they want - yes, even if it's square dancing. Show up at their work with a hot coffee and their favorite snack. Leave a copy of the Kama Sutra on their pillow. Have fun with it.

This is the only time of year that you're going to have such a ready supply of romantic, sappy stuff that lets you tell the person you're with that they're worth more than what's expected of you. It's the only time of year that going over the top with cheap, silly things can make a memory that lasts forever, rather than until the flowers die. It's the day to be something other than you are the rest of the year - even if you're struck by cupid 365 days of the year. Let's face it, in reality, you aren't. You just want to say that so you don't fall into the rest of the crowd picking out pink and white cards on the 14th and trying to pick over the last of the selection of crappy flowers because you left it too late.

So go, start planning for next year (what better time, it's all on sale now!) or hell, buy up all the stuff on sale this year and surprise the love of your life with valentine's day in July. Or October. Or April. Or all three. But, dammit, don't use the excuse that you treat them great all year long to make them feel unimportant on that one day of the year that's devoted to love.

As for me? You'll find me out shopping for goofy valentine's day stuff on sale today at lunch. I've gotta be prepared for my next great surprise. I've done so well to this point with everything that I can't stop now.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And life goes happily on.

The world is a funny place. Really funny sometimes. A month ago, I would've sworn no one at work knew I existed - or cared. I had a veiled threat about a black mark if I tried to find a position in a different dept in the company. It seemed the toxic half of the team was going to determine my future here.

However, in the last few weeks, things have brightened somewhat. In fact - a lot.

First was my bonus. A rather large bonus and raise. Woo hoo. It'll pay off most of my line of credit and make it much easier to plan my trip next winter.

The next day though, things went into the toilet again. A call came in for a "difficult" client. Sort of. Well it did come in. And 2 hours later, we got around to it. The problem - by the time my team got around to letting me know it was there - I had 15 minutes to fix it. It was an urgent call. So I thought I finally had a valid complaint against those who play the game so well.
I spent time writing up what happened, notifying the business rep for that department and dealing with the fallout from it. I got a "I'll look into it" from the team lead. Well, he did. Emailed the problem, and turns out the call came in as medium priority and we don't know when it was upgraded to Urgent so it's really pointless. Nothing came out of it.

However, the business rep for that dept talked to the client and got an email 'way to go' about me that he forwarded to my boss and my manager. Nothing came out of that either aside from a "well done," email from my team lead.

However. Business Rep sent me a job posting for his team. I had to decline and went to explain why. He understands. But in the meantime in anticipation for my team disappearing, when I have spare time, I can go to him and get work to do for their team.

This is huge because it starts to answer the question of where I go when my team is gone and it gives me another reference at the company as well.

I don't understand his motivation for it, however. Unless it's to determine my fit in that team.
Curling is going well. In the A event finals for all of my teams and my Sher. Pk team won the "C" Event in Sherwood Park on the weekend.

Actually life - outside of that little team issue (we put the I in team, let me tell you!) - is going smurfy. Absolutely smurfy. Everything is falling into place and I'm extremely happy.
I will say that the prospect of co-habitating come May is a little daunting, depending on the day. Some days I'm all for it. Others I'm ready to run screaming.

Ah well. Life will happen as it happens. We can't have everything we want, and god knows I'm happy for much of what I didn't get.

Happy Day before Valentine's Day

This year I look forward to it. Last year, I dreaded it because it was difficult to be dating someone with less...uh...someone who fell into a significantly lower tax bracket. How's that? I worried about how much to spend, how to make him feel ok that he couldn't spend much. That kind of crap. Oh, and I had to go out of my way to spend the evening with him in his truck since he was working nights. So let's just say last year Valentine's day came up a little (or a lot) short. He did better than I expected, to be honest, but overall, nothing came out of what I got anyway - except a bunch of recycling.

This year, my part was done back in January. Still get warm fuzzies from that surprise. I know he's struggling with it and I can't blame him. For a couple that has so much in common, it still isn't easy to deal with those gift giving occasions. Why? Well, because we're in the same tax bracket (although my HUGE bonus this year skews that slightly) and we live comfortably. So we can go buy what we want when we want for the most part.

Add to that it falling on a wednesday night - I curl at 6:30. Last weekend I curled in the ladies bonspiel so there wasn't much free time to plan anything (however, we did win the C event). And this weekend coming up is his fishing weekend. I get to spend it with a dog and two cats. I fully believe I get the greater entertainment value in that deal.

The weekend after that we're heading to the farm. J and T's first trip out there. I haven't been since Thanksgiving and Grandma's funeral so there hasn't been a lot of chances for them to go either. Little nervous about T but he'll survive if he doesn't try to go play with the coyotes.

Back to the big day. I think that holidays have become an excuse. That's the day or time of year you do what's expected then ignore it for the rest of the year. It removes spontaneity from the gestures and ends up with generic, one gift fits all things. We're surrounded by pink and red and white for a month while the "Hallmark Holiday" permeates society. Then it's on to Green for St. Paddy's day, etc. And we buy into it.

I like what I did. The hotel in early January. Yeah, ok, so it wasn't on The Day. But it held much more meaning than something done on a specified day because you have to. At least I think it did.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Who knew they existed?

I've found it - an amazingly accurate horoscope. Far too often this thing is accurate with what my life is like at the time, but today. Bwahahahaa. Don't worry, it's just me, your friendly jester.

You, out of all the signs, know that you can't conduct your life with a take-no-prisoners attitude -- you'd never have any fun that way. Instead, you walk down your path as the wise but merry jester.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The story of Someone.

So. I had someone, quite literally, add me to their MSN. Bizarre. One day I come to work and find someone has added me. I look at the email address and shake my head. I have a strong suspicion who it is, but click "Ok" anyway. I figure I'll get ranted at at some point - otherwise why the games with the new MSN??? Oh right, then after a rant telling me of some fatal flaw, I'll be blocked before I have a chance to say anything.

Now, at first I figured what the hell. I could use some entertainment in my life. Something for the blog, you know? So I gave "Someone" - yes, once added to my MSN list, the name was "Someone." How original and oh so tricky. Anyway, I gave Someone a day to get their rant at me done. clearly it was important that this be done through MSN rather than email or on the phone. Likely because it's easier to block the reply so Someone doesn't have to have their vision confused with reality.

There was no rant. No contact at all, in fact. Likely there was a moment in time, or perhaps too much drinking, that caused this person to go to the effort of creating a new hotmail account in hopes of abusing me online then disappearing. I'm not sure what was expected to be gained out of it. Perhaps on second thought - when I wasn't online for the immediate blast - Someone decided that it was better left unsaid?

It's odd. I've commented slightly on the situation here in my blog. Gave my reasons for it and moved on. I haven't said anything that would incur the wrath of Someone once again. I haven't contacted Someone. I haven't even been in the general vicinity of Someone. For the most part, I find the whole situation amusing at best and have no desire to contact Someone. Mainly because of the reaction to my decision and complete lack of understanding.

I knew when I made the decision I would likely lose a friend over it. I weighed that carefully. Then I realized that I shouldn't have to be concerned about it at all. A friend worthy of the title would understand. Maybe we could just call it a test then. The reality is, I would have felt much worse about the decision if the reaction had been a true friend's reaction - concern and understanding. The rant, the accusations, the flat out telling me that she should be more important to me than everything else in my life was off-putting to say the least.

It showed me what others have been trying to point out to me for months, if not years. The friendship had become toxic. It was draining and frustrating. Let's face it, the end of my marriage began the end of that friendship. She doesn't believe in divorce - imagine that. There was a time once when I shared that view. Oh that we could all be so lucky as to not make mistakes and be able to look down at those who do. I could say something about rocks and glass houses here, but it's so cliche. Over time as I moved on, she didn't agree with how and why I did things. She was quite insulting about it, in fact. Once again - not understanding at all.

Here's a tip: when someone is going through a hard time, the best way to be a friend is to be understanding and supportive. Insults and anger that the person isn't reacting as you want them to is hardly helpful. I know. That should go without saying. It doesn't.

She seemed to think that I know nothing about dating and relationships. Sigh. I've dated. I've had relationships. I was married for 7 years. I think I've got a handle on relationships. Considering that people learn best from experience, yeah, I know a thing or two. I even know what really does not work. I have some perspective on that. I know about moving in together. I did it once before. Yet she flat out told me that living together before getting married is the better way. Sigh. Guess what - my ex and I lived together before we were married. I know. Gasp. The funny thing is, she struggled with the decision to move in with him because she didn't want to before they were engaged. So, do I take her advice now? Or after something else happens to her to change her perspective again?

So, when I got divorced and began dating again, she decided to tell me how to do it. Um... been there, and I'm going to do it my way.

Now here's the funny part. She and I have had conversations about her relationship. Too many of the things she said are HUGE red flags to me. HUGE. MASSIVE. Everything in my being is screaming "oh my god, what are you thinking??????" And, yes, I said something. I'm sorry, but divorce is a soul destroying experience and if I can make someone think twice about making the mistakes I did, I'm going to try. She not only ignored me, but suddenly changed what she'd been saying. "Oh, he's not that bad," and "I didn't mean that." Sigh. I hope I'm wrong, but that light at the end of the tunnel for her is a freight train.

There are several bad reasons to get married. I know. Some examples are: I don't want to spend the rest of my life alone, no one else will have me, and he asked...what was I supposed to say? Add to that list a schedule. Anything you are doing because you feel pressured by a timeline you (or someone else) created when you thought 30 was the end of your fertility, your dating life, your life or the world is likely not being well thought out. Schedules and biological clocks help us rationalize truly bad decisions. Forever is a long time. Try to remember that.

Oh. Heh. Train of thought got seriously derailed back there. Where was I??? Oh right. Someone added me to their MSN. I gave 'em a day. Today, I've decided that I don't need to hear another rant. I was told that I wouldn't get a second chance to hurt Someone. The problem is I never should have given her a second chance to be in my life. Twice now she's ended the friendship for ridiculous reasons. My last email explaining my situation was replied to with two short, very rude words. If she has something to say to me, email is quite sufficient. Although I'm quite certain it doesn't have the same satisfaction that a long winded rant does on MSN when followed by the "block" button. So I blocked Someone. The amusement value isn't high enough to be bothered allowing her the rant space. It isn't worth having that in my contact list. It just isn't worth it. Block. Delete. Move on.

And the list gets shorter, the load lighter, my smile wider. Happiness is found by doing things YOU want to do.