Just Rannin' Around

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

“Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It’s unrealistic and kind of cowardly, because it means that you don’t have to try.” –Peggy Noonan

I must admit that it is a little bit hard for me to believe that another year has already passed. Yet here I sit on December 30th with only one more day separating 2009 from 2010.

Reflection of the past year has definitely taken up residence in my mind as of late. Since I am my own worst critic, I see room for much improvement. However I am also reminded just how good life is most of the time if I focus on the correct things.

Looking forward to the upcoming year has not been an easy feat for me. I am coming into this year kicking and screaming. I understand that throwing a temper tantrum is very unbecoming and will not stop the hands of time, but I can’t seem to stop myself. Luckily, for the most part I don’t subject many to have to witness these bouts of childish rantings (they actually usually look more like me in tears).

So now it is time to grasp that, ready or not, it is coming.

I have my cyclical goals. One would think that they would cease being goals at some point, but since I still have to work on them, I still consider them goals and not habits.

One of my new goals invokes fear straight through my entire body.

I am going to take voice lessons. I’ve wanted to do this for a very long time, but singing in front of people makes me want to throw up. This makes me sad because I love to sing. I have overcome this slightly due to the fact that my ward is tiny. It was very unnerving when I could hear myself singing during Sacrament meeting since out of that already tiny ward, only about a third of them sing. I have learned to not let that bother me anymore, but I would like to be able to know that I at least sound good if they all have to listen to me. I want to get to the point where I can sing anywhere, in front of anyone and not feel self conscious about it.

I’m also going to work on being more giving. I am looking into a few volunteer opportunities that would help me feel like I am making a difference somewhere.

I know that I am a control freak and I am going to really work on allowing others to be in charge. I honestly think that I will become a softer, kinder person by giving up always needing to control my situation, the way things are done, ect. This one is going to really be hard for me, by controlling I allow myself to stay in my comfort zone.

I figure that is a good place to start.

Monday, December 28, 2009

“The more you find out about the world, the more opportunities there are to laugh at it.” –Bill Nye

I have a bruise the size of a large grapefruit on my upper right thigh below my hipbone. Being the masochist that I am, I occasionally push on it just to see if it is still sore. Sure enough, it is still sore.

How did I end up with this lovely self-inflicted bruise? Do you ever remember your mom telling you to stop laughing or someone was going to end up crying? Mine did all the time and 99% of the time she was correct.

Picture this . . .

It was Christmas Eve and we had all gathered at my sister’s house. I had just finished that ugly four hour drive and was ready to stretch my legs a bit. That is never a worry when the nieces and nephews are around because I am their favorite play toy.

I was greeted at the door with squeals of excitement. I was allowed to put my purse down and then immediately attacked. We were rough housing and I was in hot pursuit of the 3-year old when my feet were suddenly no longer going the same direction as I was. See I was not informed that the wood floors had just been oiled that day. Traction was not to be found on the floor, but I could be.

Okay, so nobody ended up crying this time, but that saying did pop into my head as I lay laughing on the floor feeling the bruise begin to grow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

“Love thy neighbor – and if he happens to be tall, debonair and devastating, it will be that much easier.” - Mae West

Dear Neighbors,

I just want you to know that I have been attempting to learn how to cook for one. I am finding it frustrating and, quite frankly, disgusting. Food just doesn’t cook and taste the same when cooked in smaller portions. I have learned that I have two options: 1) stop eating or 2) continue cooking for a small army so the food is delish.

My issue with cooking for a small army is that it leaves me with tons of leftovers. I am not a fan of eating leftovers. I can handle it for one lunch, but any more than that is just too much of a good thing. Therefore, if I stop by your house with an offering of freshly cooked food it isn’t because I don’t think that you aren’t feeding your families well or that I think that you don’t know how to cook. Please know that you are doing me a very small favor so that I don’t feel guilty about throwing away tons of food all the time.

If you are opposed to me stopping by your house with food or inviting you over for dinner, please let me know.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

“Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.”
-Pride and Prejudice

Being single is not for the faint of heart.

Please don’t get offended if you are married . . . yeah, yeah I know that being married and having children has its own difficulties and challenges, but (and call it a fat joke if you like because it is a huge BUT) you have someone to take some of the pressures off, to help make decisions and to lean on when needed. Not to mention that every married couple that I know when they say they are jealous of everything that I am able to do and have, when asked always state that they would never go back to having to play the dating game or give up what they have and love.

The grass does, metaphorically, seem to be greener when it comes to this issue.

Mel and I used to commiserate and decided that most girls were able to get married young because they weren’t strong enough to endure being single for very long. At least it made us feel better for a minute.

Daily I have a monstrous list of tasks that need to be accomplished. Daily I fail to get everything done that needs to be completed, but no worries if it doesn’t get done it is still waiting for me the next day. I have learned to become very organized and prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. This, of course, even fails me because I have no qualms about dropping the entire list when a social activity comes up. Bad habit, but a girl has got to enjoy life.

December takes an extra dose of “suck it up and deal with it” attitude when single. Yes, it is even worse than February. Why? February only contains a one day reminder. Where from the end of November until the first of January there are continual reminders of being alone.

I have already attended three Christmas parties. I have another one tonight and one tomorrow night (this doesn’t include any family parties yet). There is always the very uncomfortable seating issue because it makes for an uneven number at the table and leaves a chair very conspicuously empty. It almost makes you feel like there is a flashing neon sign in the empty seat next to you point out the fact that you are by yourself. Also, when everyone is whispering to their spouses, you just have to pretend that the veggies are excellent company and you just can’t seem to stuff enough of them in your mouth to make it look like you are choosing not to be talking to anyone.

Now most of this is probably just in my head, but it nevertheless makes for much discomfort. I have always been an incredibly social individual and don’t typically have issues with being in any situation, but a formal gathering alone is always on a totally different plane of social interaction. Most of these affairs are specifically designed for either couples or families and it is felt when you are single.

After Christmas comes the New Year’s Eve festivities. Need I say more?

Now this is not new to me. I have spent every Christmas and New Year’s Eve without a significant other and have gotten accustomed to what I need to do in order to enjoy them. I seem to only have a boyfriend during random months that don’t include any holidays. I was dating someone two years ago during the holiday season, but he spent the month of December and the first week of January at home in Denver with his family (yes that should have told me something). That New Year’s Eve was spent on the phone all night sad that we weren’t together (that actually might have been worse than being by myself).

All this is not to make anyone think that I sit around and sulk (see above paragraphs . . . I don’t have time) or that I need pity, I don’t. This is just a friendly reminder to be a bit more sensitive when someone comes to these things by themselves. Believe me, it was not an easy decision and one they probably had to talk themselves into.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

“Todd Chester: Where do you think you’re gonna put a tree that big?
Clark Griswold: Bend over and I’ll show you.”
-National Lampoon Christmas Vacation

Sometimes that explains my attitude perfectly.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The weather outside is frightful

Having lived in northern Utah since 1994, one would probably come to the natural conclusion that I would be used to having to function in the winter months. I am here to declare that I don’t think that I will ever be used to it and probably never enjoy it. Honestly, hibernation would be the option of my choice. My St. George roots take hold every time I have to step out into the white, blistery stuff falling from the sky (although you would be hard pressed to convince me that it doesn’t really come from hell).

Now before anyone jumps down my throat let me put in a disclosure that:

a) I know that snow is needed and that it supplies us with most of our water for the year and so I am grateful for it in that aspect

b) I really do think that it is beautiful when it is anywhere except the sidewalks and streets upon which I have to walk and drive

c) I enjoy making snow angels, snowmen, having snow ball fights, going sledding and all kinds of frolicking

d) Not that I need an excuse, but it is one of the best excuses to cuddle, hold hands and just be extremely close for extended periods of time to someone you love

I get it. It definitely serves multiple purposes, but . . . .

I despise having to drive in it! I white knuckle the steering wheel. I always feel like I am sliding. I have a stomach ache the entire time. I don’t trust any of the other drivers around me. I feel like I have escaped the clutches of death upon arrival at my destination. I worry about everyone I love.

Yesterday was no exception. I drive an SUV with four-wheel drive. I don’t think that I got my vehicle going any faster than 20 miles an hour (even on I-15), yet all around me were compact cars of all makes and models zipping around like it was a warm, clear day in the middle of August. Slow down ramjet or someone is going to get road rash!

I watched a truck in front of me hit some ice and turn 360s across all four lanes of the freeway, only stopping when forced to by the median wall. He was going fast enough and hit hard enough that his airbags deployed. The two men (probably seeing panic on my face) in the car in the lane next to me waved me to keep going and they slowly pulled over to see if they could help.

I finally got off the freeway and was literally two turns away from being at work and able to breathe again when I got a surprise . . . and not a good one. I was stopped at the red light on 1300 East waiting to turn right when I looked up to see a bird flying toward me. I didn’t think anything of it until it flew straight into my car antenna. Poor thing must have knocked itself senseless because if fell to a skidding halt in a large snow bank at the side of the road. It was almost like witnessing a live cartoon. I am positive that this bird hates winter as much as me and should have flown south long ago.

I think that I need to buy a tank and have someone drive me everywhere when it is snowing. That is possibly the only way that I would feel safe.


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