Month: April 2014

DIY = Do It YOURSELF!

So, as the title suggests, I was in a bit of a quandary over whether I should be “assisting” the Man of the House with the project of building a bedside table for me.  I imagine most couples who decide to take on projects together are just as excited as we were as we planned it all out and began the job.  I’m not sure at what point things started going downhill, but it HAD to be within the first 30 minutes…..

Just to put things in perspective: I like putting together and fixing things; he likes building and fixing things.  Since i’m not a builder, I defer to his expertise when it comes to that kind of thing.  My problem is, I KNOW EVERYTHING!  😉  So when I see him doing something that I think might be wrong, it’s hard to keep my trap shut, but I try.  I think i’m pretty good at TRYING to keep my mouth shut but sometimes my mouth moves faster than my brain’s ability to stop it.  I am pretty sure that he allows me to help him because he knows I like to put things together, but if I weren’t around, he’d totally do it himself.  In retrospect, this must be what my kids feel like when they’re trying to helping me cook in the kitchen….but I digress.

Anyway, so here we are, cutting and screwing the wood pieces together – which I apparently suck at and that’s fine because i’m not a builder, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.  So I can’t screw the screws in straight – is it REEEEALLY that big a’deal?  The screw is in the piece of wood, isn’t it?  God bless him, he was being real nice about it when he would tell me to stop because they weren’t going in straight but, regardless, it started to irritate me because I felt like I was doing it the same way he was.  I think I was literally fuming with steam coming off of my head and I wanted to either quit and throw the screw driver and/or break what we had already put together.  It was at this point that I said to myself, THIS is where the whole concept of DIY came from – do it YOURSELF.  NOT with your partner.  NOT with your friend.  NOT with anyone else.  YOUR! SELF!!!  When everything is said and done and there’s a crooked table that can only be used in a fun house, you only have YOURSELF to blame for it.  You know?  That’s how it should be.

My frustration didn’t stop with the screws.  This project took a little vacation and sat, as it is pictured above, for a few days.  He managed to finish putting the table together on a day where I wasn’t home (refer back to the second paragraph where I mentioned the fact that he would do it himself if I weren’t around), so now that it’s done, it was time to stain it.  That can’t be hard, right?  It’s basically painting.  He gave me specific instructions to paint in the same direction as the grain of the wood and he mentioned some other stuff about gloves and yadda-yadda-yadda.  Easy enough, right?  Noooooooooooooooo!  I STILL managed to irritate myself by not listening to the “other stuff” that he mentioned like, oh, I don’t know, wearing gloves so I don’t get any of that stain stuff on my hands or under my nails.  By the time I realized that it was all over my hands, it was too late – today, I am still wearing purple nail polish to cover the black stain that’s under my nails – WHY DID I GET INVOLVED AGAIN!!!???

In the end, it all got completed and the table turned out really, really nice – I love it!!  I felt bad because I almost got to the point where I didn’t even want the table anymore.  Why don’t I just buy one from Ross?  I know why, because it would mean so much more to have him build it for me.  He would be happy doing it and I would be happy with a hand made piece from him that he planned, sweated over, and built just for moi!

So, what are the chances that I learned my lesson about beginning DIY projects with the Man of the House (or anyone else for that matter)?  Just slim to none – i’m hard headed that way.  🙂

TADAAA!!!   I take no credit for the completion of this project….

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A Sobering Thought

I have thought about the scribbles of this post for a little while now.  Some days I want to write just to write and get it out; but, there’s no form, no logic, no point, just thoughts and experiences jumbled together.  It finally came to me this morning as I was making a congratulatory purchase for myself to celebrate 5 months of sobriety.

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[Pause for virtual cheers, hugs and words of continued encouragement.]

In general, I don’t gloat and I don’t like attention…except for a second ago when I waited for your virtual cheers, of course.  I am not someone who pats themselves on the back or tells of accomplishments just to be praised, but now I know that there are exceptions.

I have a sober friend who doesn’t count his days, it just isn’t something he feels the need to do but, in telling me that, I began to feel some guilt (maybe?) that I wanted to share my days.  Why should I feel guilty?? I want to tell the world!  I am proud of myself, dammit!  I want the continued motivation and support and maybe even accountability to keep pressing forward, to confirm that I was doing the right thing and to never look back.  But, is it annoying to everyone else?  I’m not trying to pressure anyone into doing what i’m doing at all but I know it inspires others because they send me messages to tell me so and that makes me happy.  Equally, I love seeing others post about their days because I want to hug them and tell them how awesome they are.  It doesn’t even matter how many days they’ve been sober because, to me, it’s a step in the right direction.

It isn’t easy.  I take my sobriety one day at a time, and sometimes I take it hour by hour, so counting my days pleases me and just because everyone doesn’t count their days doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t.  I am 5 months sober and I still know that it’s the best thing I could have ever done for myself [esteem], my kids, my fiance, and my family.  In the beginning, there were days where I just knew that looking into the future to today was going to mean failure.  I just knew that I would be back to my old ways because I couldn’t see my life any other way.  So, TAKE THAT OLD MARITZA!  I totally proved her wrong.  😉

Oh, and if you’re wondering, “what congratulatory gift did you get yourself?”  Thanks for asking; I stumbled upon a company via a page I follow on Instagram called Party Sober Clothing and I love their mission to “deglamorize drug and alcohol abuse by starting a new trend.”  So i’ve ordered my tank top (below) and I can’t wait to get it!  🙂

The College Woes

So……

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2013-2014 school year was $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for state residents at public colleges, and $22,203 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

And if you compare that to the fact that apparently….

Sixty percent of U.S. college graduates cannot find a full-time job in their chosen profession, according to job placement firm Adecco.

Then I shouldn’t be too, too upset about my daughter not getting into the college that she wanted, right?  WRONG!  I was still upset, which annoys me because I thought I prepared myself pretty good to read those “Regrettably….we will not be offering you admission…” letters.  My whole spiel about how “college isn’t for everyone” seemed to go right out the door as those letters started coming in the mail.  Man, what a rip!   You would seriously think it was ME that was trying to get into college.

So after crying about the most recent letter that was received – that would be me crying, not her, at least not in front of me and I didn’t cry in front of her – I had to really think about why this upset me so much.  Yes, I was upset for her, but the bottom line is, I never went through this whole process before.  I didn’t go to college right out of high school, so I never experienced this whole you’re accepted/rejected stuff.  I don’t remember how my mom handled it with my brother and sisters, either.  I guess it’s the “mom” in me that wants to protect my child from rejection when, in fact, she needs this.

Fast forward to the present day and we are at the point where it’s been accepted that she’ll start at the community college and transfer after 2 years, which makes economical sense, anyway.  I’m not dogging community college, at all.  My child is just in need of getting out and experiencing independence and being responsible for herself and all that stuff that comes along with living on a campus.  I guess I could kick her out so she could get a place of her own and go to school and work like a lot of people successfully do, but that hardly seems like the right thing to do.  She just started her FIRST job for pete’s sake!  Ugh!  I’m usually all for “tough love”, but not like this.  If she were a horrible child, I would think differently, but she isn’t.

Ssssooo….yeah…..this is where we are….I’ll still be here to help her get a running start, but I’ll have to let go…Graduation is coming, the 18th birthday is coming, summer is coming…..I’M NOT READY FOR ALL THIS!!

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(I don’t recall the website I found this doozie from, but I like it and I can’t take credit for having made it up.)

 

Marine Corps 17.75k Recap

CAN’T STOP! WON’T STOP!

It was Friday.  A beautiful Friday, at that.  The sun was shining, the temperature was in the upper 70’s, and there was a perfect breeze going on.  Nothing gets me more excited and motivated than perfect weather outside.  Maybe a little too much;  it was the kind of day that makes me want to do something crazy like, oh, I don’t know, randomly decide to sign up for the Marine Corps 17.75k (that’s about 11 miles for us non-metric system using folks) which is at 7 am on Saturday – yes, the next day.  I say “crazy” because lately I haven’t run more than 6 miles, so to jump at 11 miles seems a little irresponsible, but what’s another 5 miles??  Luckily, I was able to find somebody to sell me their bib.  JOY!!

I’ve done the 17.75k before, but this was going to be a new course that I haven’t done.  I couldn’t imagine it was going to be that much different – hills are hills.  Where there’s an uphill, there’s a downhill and I can live with that.  So, Saturday morning, I get up bright and early to get my rear into gear.  I’m going solo, which I haven’t done….ever.  I usually take someone to races with me or I do them with someone – I like to bring my own cheerleaders, I guess, but I didn’t mind.  There was something liberating about going by myself and being by myself.

THE COURSE:

The beginning of the course was torture!  Not only was it a gravel path with plenty of rocks and uneven ground, especially considering the hundreds of people around you, but the hills weren’t just up and down – oh no!  They were looooong and unending.  That lasted for maybe 3 quad-busting miles!!  After that you were on a paved road, mostly flat, but there were some hills that annoyed the dickens outta me.  The wooded area in Prince William was actually very pretty and made it easy to jog through.  I was looking around and taking it all in – aaaaaah!!!

Since we all know a “run” just didn’t happen unless it was tracked by Nike+, I had it going so I could have an idea of how much further I had to go; you know, just in case the mile markers weren’t enough of a clue.  So around mile 8 or 9 i’m thinking that the rest is gonna be such a breeze!  But noooooo, no breeze!  That’s when you’re back on the original gravel trail to get back to the finish and it’s all gravel and hills again.  Man, I totally thought I was going to improve my pace and jog all the way to the finish; I thought I would catch my 2nd or 3rd wind.

THE FINISH:

Alas, I crossed the finish line to my own satisfaction and received my finishers coin along with the coveted “access granted ticket”, or “golden ticket” as it used to be called, which guarantees my entry into the Marine Corps Marathon.  I still don’t know if I want to run THAT much at one time.  I survived the 11 miles and maintained a nice 10:30/mile pace.  That isn’t fast to most but, for me, it surprised me that I could maintain that pace, all things considered.

AFTERTHOUGHT:

I booked it home as soon as humanly possible, and within the speed limit, only to get out of the car as if I were the tin man in desperate need of some WD-40, starting with my knees!  UGH!  The mileage wasn’t the tough part, but I probably wouldn’t sign up for another race like that with just one day’s notice if I don’t have everything I need to care for my body once I’m home.  Lesson kinda learned….i’m sure this won’t be the last time I do something like this.  😉

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