Friday, May 25, 2012

Astrology: Bunk or Reality?

Astrology is the topic of the week.  We are going to discuss our beliefs or dis-beliefs in the "science" of reading the future in the stars.

Who amoungst us can not say that they do not wish that they had some sort of road map to the future? Some way of knowing how things are going to turn out?  I know that there are times when I wish I knew what was going to happen, how things are going to turn out and when the ugliness is going to end.  I find that I look at my horoscope most when things are bad.  I think when things are not going my way I want to hang on to anything that might possibly give me hope that it will end and things will get better.

One time, oh, about 9 years ago, I read my horoscope.  It said that now was a good time to start an excerise routine, that if I embarked on working-out now, it was likely that it would stay with me for a long time going forward.  I read my horoscope about three days after I had signed up for a pre-natal excerise class.  Fast forward 9 years, and guess what, I am still working out.  Granted there were ebbs and flows in my ability to work out, but my commitment to doing it never waivered.  Was that a fluke or is there some truth in how it all works?

When Bob was "between opportunities" I remember heading back to my horoscope.  It told me that we were in a tough time, but that things were just on the cusp of getting better.  That we would emerge from this stronger and able to reap the many rewards from all the lessons we had learned.  Well, Bob does have a job he mostly likes and they do really like him and in this day of no job security, he is about as secure as you could get.  Again, fluke or an ability to predict the future?

My most recent horoscope indicates that I will have a lot of romance and success in my career this month.  I have been having a lot of romance.  My relationship with my husband has definately improved in recent weeks, our connection is stronger than ever.  Career?  I always laugh about that, because what sort of career do I have?  But, I do have a couple of big meetings about Mac this week and next, and according to my horoscope, they should go well.  I will let you know.

At the end of the day, do I base my decisions on my horoscope?  No.  I don't even read it all that regularly.  When I am looking to find some sort of road map, I have found that my horoscope is just as good a map as anything else.  Hope can come in many packages, sometimes for me, it comes in the form of a horoscope.

Want to see how the other ladies read the tea leaves?   Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Traveling with kids?

The topic for this week's post is to discuss what type of traveler you are, do you have everything planned out or are you a last minute person.

I grew up in a family that traveled a lot.  When we would go on trips, my Dad would study guide books and research everything.  He would then plan every single day.  We would know before we left exactly what we would do every day.  I still remember his calendars, created on a piece of paper from a legal sized yellow tablet.  He would turn the paper so it was horizontal and use a ruler to draw out the squares.

So, based on that, you would think I was an anal planner.  Ok, also based on the fact that I am an anal planner in my regular life, but in reality, I tend to try and figure out what we are going to do once we are there.  After spending my childhood trying to see everything, I have come to learn that sometimes it is best to leave something unseen.  You can always see it when you go back.  It really is more important to enjoy the time you have than to try and achieve some sort of plan.

My kids have been traveling since they were infants.  We have gone on so many road trips, airplane flights and vacations that travel isn't a big deal for them.  They are pros at the security check points.  Traveling with very small children (18 months old is the pinnacle of horrible on an airplane), requires a certain amount of planning.  When Mac puked all over me and himself on a flight back from Oregon, I was pretty happy to have a change of clothes for both of us.

I was the mom who pulled play doh out of her bag when the pilot told us to put the tray table up and turn off the electronics.  That meant no more coloring, no more dvds, no more video games, what to do with restless kids?  Play with play doh.  I have had more than my fair share of adults ask to play with some too.

Now that they kids are older, they pack their own stuff.  I don't have to plan so much about the getting there part.  In fact, I can pack us up for a trip to where ever in little more than a couple of hours, less for a plane ride, more for a car trip.  We have done it so many times, we have the drill down.  Everyone knows what to do.  We know how to handle what ever might come up.  Delays, snow storms, vomit?  We got it covered.

I travel based on a very simple philosophy, I am never going to see these people again, so fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

Want to see how the other ladies take off?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It was not to long ago I wrote a piece about how I already had my dream job.  Being home with my kids was, according to that post, on the worst day better than the best day working.  I am starting to question that.  I think that perhaps the worst day with the kids is probably better than the worst day working, but it certainly isn't better than the best day working.

I have also written about doing the best you can and letting go of the outcome.  If you don't remember that, the premise is that the football team that looses the Superbowl did not do anything wrong.  They trained as hard as they could, they won all the games necessary to make it to the Superbowl, they wanted it just as bad as the other team, but sometimes things just don't go the way you want them too.  You cannot beat yourself up for the loss, because well you did your best.  It sounds like the platitudes our parents told us when we were young, but it is true.

So, here I am in a situation that I cannot control.  No matter how hard I have tried, I cannot control it.  I have pulled out of my bag of tricks, all the things I know and still nothing works.  The situation isn't out of control really, it is just out of MY control.  Sadly, my role in this little drama isn't pleasant.

I want to get in my car and dive away, pack up my things and watch the shadows fade.  And as the song goes, this is the part of me that you will never ever take away from me.  But, what is that part of me?  What is the part of me that no one can ever take away?  I really don't know.  At this point, so much of me has been lost, I don't know what part they will never get.

Is it my pride?  I don't think so, I am using the tactic of grovelling right now.  Besides, I have three kids, pride left the building a long time ago.  Is it my spirit?  I feel my spirit is sort broken, but as I say that, I think, well, maybe it is my spirit.  I think through everything, the one thing that has always been there has been my sense of humor.  So, I guess that is the part of me that they will never ever take away from me.

The "responsibility" phase of my life isn't so much fun right now.  I guess it is time to figure out a way to get my fun on, and let go of the outcome.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sports Cars

I'm starting to understand why middle-aged men get sports cars and have affairs with much younger women.  I always thought it had to do with them waking up and wondering if this is all there is to life, but really, I think it has more to do with them feeling trapped.

You wake up on day and realize that you are trapped in a job you don't like, have kids that are obnoxious and a situation that is just not pleasant anymore.  The thing is that changing that seems really impossible.  Sometimes this is triggered by a series of traumatic events and sometimes the reality just sort of dawns on you.  You are trapped.  That is when the walls start closing in and you start to long for a different something.  Anything to remind you that you are still you.

With everything that has been going on I have been feeling trapped.  I wasn't really even able to identify the feeling initially.  I just wanted to be the me that I was before I had kids.  I wanted to escape my reality.  As I started to tell people about what I wanted to do, the resounding feed back was that I was longing for freedom.  To escape all the chaos that was swirling around me.

The funny thing was that mid-winter, I was feeling pretty good about things.  I was surprised that I had made it this far without the usual winter blues.  I was feeling secure.  The universe hates it when I am feel secure.  And in typical form, the universe smacked me right on down.  I lost myself in the chaos.

I want a new car, a new family, a new life.  I want to escape everything and run down the street naked screaming.  I want to do something outside of my normal way of being.  As I try and contain the feeling of wanting to rip out of the chains that bind me, I can see how a middle aged man could have an affair with a 20 something.  I can see how that might have little to nothing to do with his feelings about his spouse and a lot more to do with feeling trapped.

Don't get me wrong, if my spouse had an affair with a 20 something I would be mighty pissed off.  I would probably leave his sorry ass on the curb and move the heck onward.  I am not excusing the behavior, but I can see how you could end up there.  I can see how that same man might buy a sports car instead of having an affair, because the consequences of that decision are much less.

The long and the short of it is, I am trapped in a situation that I don't like, that I can not change and I want a sports car that I can't have.  As I try and attempt to focus on what I can have, I am pricing BMW Z4s and trying to figure out how to get 5 people in there.   As I try and realize that like the weather this situation will change, I long for a ride that does not scream middle aged soccer mom.

Things will change.  The place I am stuck in is just a place I am passing through.  It may take me a while to get out of here, but it is important for me to remember, it will not be forever.  Right now I am learning a lesson about letting go, acceptance and patience.  I hate those stupid lessons about patience.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pizza Pie

First, sit down.  I am actually writing the Thursday post on Thursday.  I know, it is shocking.  Anyway, today's topic is to talk about pizza.  What kind do you like and what toppings.

Pizza.  It is like religion in our household.  We take our pizza very seriously.  My mother does not like pizza.  It think it is the strangest thing.  How can you not like pizza?

We have lived in two pizza capitals, New England, known for the New Haven style pizza.  New Haven style is brick oven with a very thin crispy crust.  The crispier the better.  When we moved to Chicago, we knew we would never eat good pizza again.  We ordered a bunch of pies before we headed out of town.  We fed the movers and then longing packed up the rest to be savored in the car.

While I used to love pizza with everything, a good slice of New Haven style pizza is really best just plain cheese, occasionally one can add a slice or two of pepperoni.  But, tons of toppings, never.  It ruins the taste of the crust and the sauce.  The sauce is a melange of fresh tomatoes, basil and garlic.  The sweetness of the tomatoes is enhanced by the brick oven, which crisps the crunchy, chewy crust.   When ever we go back to Connecticut, we always grab a pizza. 

Sure, we have found a place that makes a decent NY style pizza, but there is only one place that makes a good New Haven style pizza.  We drive almost an hour to go to a bowling alley pizza joint to get our New Haven pizza fix.  Vito and Nicks, that is some good pizza, but still not as good as the original.

Now, I live in Chicago.  Known for its deep dish pizza.  The buttery flaky crust, the sauce on top and loaded with fillings.  It isn't even pizza to this girl.  It is more like a pie.  It isn't the crispy, chewy goodness that is brick oven.  Sure we enjoy the occasion deep dish.  Sure they are good, but it just doesn't scratch the pizza itch.

New York style, with a crust you fold in half is a close substitute to a brick oven pizza.  While again, not as good, is a close second.  It would seem that here in the land of hot dogs and deep dish, we will have to settle for NY style when we are looking to indulge in some pizza.  Perhaps some day we will build a brick oven in our backyard.

When I was younger, I loved pizzas loaded with everything imaginable on them.  Tons of veggies.  When I make pizza at home I often load them up.  But, when I go out, plain cheese is all this girl likes to eat.

Want to see what the other ladies like?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More letting go

Letting go seems to be my theme.  I mediate on the quote about Luke Skywalker.  Of course it is now, Confucious say:  Luke Skywalker, Princess Leah, Death Star, Close Eyes, Let Go.  As I am trying to let go of the past, I have also learned that sometimes you have to try and steer the train.  Or as a much wiser friend of mine said, lay the track so the train goes the way you want it to.

I have been thinking about that a lot.  As you steer the train or lay the track, which ever image you like better, it means that you accept what has happened.  You can not try and put things in place for the future if you are focused on what just went wrong.  You must be focused on the objective.

It takes a lot of flexible thinking to be able to absorb what just went wrong and formulate a new plan on the fly.  But, when things are going wrong it changes where you are on the road to your goal.  Now the path to the goal is different.  How are you going to respond to that?  Getting stuck isn't helpful.

Don't misunderstand me here. There is a lot to be learned from our past mistakes. But, those lessons are ones best served cold. After the situation has passed, then it is the time to reflect on the lessons you have learned. It is not time to do that when you are still in the midst of the chaos.

Yesterday, I pulled begging out of my bag.  It wasn't pretty, and I am still unsure on how well it worked.  I can't fight it anymore.  The fighting isn't working.  That option needs to be retired.  I am struggling with finding ones that will work in the situation I find myself.  For now, we will see how begging goes. 

I recognize that one of the issues I have is that my goal and the school's goal aren't the same.  I am trying to push the immovable towards a goal that they are resistant to, in spite of the fact that going to my goal will make their lives easier.  Say what you want about schools, they like it the hard way.

As I wait to see how my most recent tactic works, I am trying to lay down more track so that I stop being dragged.  I am trying with all my might to build relationships that I can use to help me figure out what to do next.  But, really, now, all I can do is wait and see what happens.  The outcome is no longer in my control.

So, as I meditate on letting go and death stars, I need to keep forward the reminder that I am only one person, who is horribly flawed.  I can only do and control a small portion of this situation.  I pray with every fiber of my being that things will go well and that when they don't I know what to do next.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Play List

Our topic for this week is to discuss the top 10 songs on our play list and why..

In no particular order they would be:

Nickelback -- Lullaby

I guess it is sort of topical.  We have been dealing with a lot of hurt and sadness, and when I hear this song, I feel like they are talking to me. 

Rodney Atkins -- If You Are Going Through Hell

I want to give up sometimes and this song reminds me that giving up, well, it may not always be a good option, cuz you just might get out before the Devil even knows you are there.

Guy Forsyth -- Long, Long, Long Time

Every lyric in this song is amazing.  Right now I am stuck on the following:
"Luke Skywalker saved Princess Leah and destroyed the Death Star by letting go and closing his eyes."

Chris Isaak -- Baby Did a Bad, Bad, Thing

I am a sucker for a funky beat in the opening, and sometimes I feel like cryin'.

Santana -- Into the Night

I just like it... do I have to have a reason??

Kid Rock -- All Summer Long

This song reminds me of the Summer of 1989, my hair was long and I had a lot of the experiences he talks about.  At that moment in time, life was good.

Nickelback -- When We Stand Together

The lyrics are sort of preachy, but I agree with the message.  Also, I crossed the finish line for my first race listening to this tune.  It will always be special.

Pink -- So What

I like girl power, and this is all about girl power.  Cuz, you know what, I don't need you.

Hot Chelle Ray -- Tonight, Tonight

La la la la, what ever... it is like my life motto.

Jimmy Eat World -- In the Middle

It is about not worring about what other people think about you and just being you.  It is pretty sound advice.

As a side note, I don't know what is up with the formatting on this post, but I hope you enjoy the tunes.  Want to rock out with the other chicks?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl.