Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mirror Image

There is a person in my life who annoys me. In fact, I think she's psychotic. She has some real issues with the way she treats people. I would rather not be around her if possible, but I don't have that choice right now.

BUT...I got to thinking about something I read quite awhile ago. The people we dislike in this life are really our greatest teachers. Looking at the woman in my life who annoys me, I have to admit that some of the qualities in her that I dislike are the same ones I dislike in myself. Sometimes people in our lives are our mirror images. They can show us what we really don't admire about ourselves.

This woman in my life is extreme in her issues. I am not psychotic (that I know of) and I do not treat people as poorly as she does, BUT...even though I am not as extreme as she is, I can see in myself some of the bad things I see in her.

It helps me a lot to think about the situation this way. She is in my life to be a cautionary example, to force me to look at the things I don't like about the way I treat people or the things I do. That way, I can avoid becoming her in my later years. Rather than be angry and dismissive of her horrifying behavior, I can look on it as a lesson and that has helped me deal with her better and become a better person myself.

Think about someone in your life you dislike. Why do you dislike them? What qualities do they have that make you upset? Might some of those same qualities be in you? And if not, what is this person trying to teach you? Do you need to learn to set boundaries? Is it that you need to learn to walk away?

There are lessons everywhere. Learn them now and avoid becoming the person you despise.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rest in, not the permanent kind

Last night I lit a candle, turned off all the lights and sat on the couch listening to the thunder and rain come down outside. I haven't felt that relaxed in a long time. It seems like I'm always on the go and I never get to just sit and be. Last night, I got the chance to really slow down and it helped a lot. I slept better last night than I have in a VERY long time. I listened to the rain storm outside and forced my mind to stop thinking through all the things I need to do, to say, to accomplish.

Everyone needs to do that once in awhile. Remove the distractions and just let yourself be. Stop your mind from thinking through all the problems, the pain, the joys of life, and just let it rest. Your mind and heart need rest as much as your body does. Try it sometime.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pepperoni: the answer to life's problems

I am a family law attorney, which does not mean I spend my life in exciting court drama the way they portray it on Boston Legal. It means I spend my life on the phone. All day, every day. I log more phone time every day than a teenage girl who just got her first cell phone logs in a year.

People call constantly. It does not stop. Clients call with all kinds of questions. Sometimes they call just to yell. Yes, it is true, they yell at their attorney...the one person who can actually get them out of a horrible life situation and they yell at me. Makes no sense, but I have learned that people embroiled in family law matters rarely do make sense. I've learned to chalk it up to their out of control emotions. I've had people call and yell, then apologize, then call and yell again the next day. Very odd, but like I said it's the emotion of the divorce, the child custody battle and I do understand that.

But there are times when they catch me at the wrong moment and I become stern and bitter right back. That's when they call, apologize, and cry. Sometimes they show up in person and cry. That's when we go through more Kleenex than a preschool classroom.

Ah, the life of a lawyer. All that said though, I do like my job. Sometimes we get the clients who truly appreciate our efforts and those are the people who make it worthwhile. One client brought us fresh bagels and cream cheese for helping him with his issue. Very nice surprise and very much appreciated.

After a long week in the legal trenches, I also look forward to Pepperoni Friday. Every other Friday, I generally order pizza from Pizza Zone, which is my favorite pizza place in Houston. It's delicious and helps me forget all the stress of the previous two weeks. Ah, if only all problems were so easily solved by pepperoni.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

It's been five years today since the landscape of America, and the world, was changed by two American Airlines planes smashing into the World Trade Center towers.

So much has happened to all of us since then. When the world stopped turning that day, I was at home getting ready for work. I never watched the news in the morning because I was a reporter and I was bombarded with news all day so I didn't bother with it before going to work.

When I got to work, the receptionist told me that the towers had been hit by planes crashing into them. I was shocked. I tried to get the news up on the internet, but it was obvious the whole world was doing the same because the pages would not load. Too much traffic.

Because we were a twice-weekly newspaper, we purchased the every other day subscription to the Associated Press news feed. That day, the AP suspended subscription requirements and we got 24-hour news feed. We watched the computer with curiosity and awe for the next feed. They came roughly every five minutes or so, sometimes a paragraph and sometimes just a couple of lines. We got the television from downstairs and brought it upstairs so everyone could watch. We placed it in the lobby and watched in quiet reverance as the television news showed the towers being hit and crumbling to the ground.

One of our subscribers had a relative in New York who was taking pictures of the towers as things were happening. The photographer e-mailed us the pictures allowing us an on the frontlines view of the tragedy.

Where were you when the world stopped turning? 9/11 has become our generation's JFK assassination. No one in that generation ever forgets where they were and what they were doing when they heard about it. Now...we will never more ways than one.

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Monday, September 4, 2006

A Real Day of Labor

Actually, it was more like a real weekend of labor. There were a ton of things on my "to do" list that have been there longer than Jimmy Hoffa's been missing. SO...this weekend I decided to get them done. And I got most of them done, but man I am exhausted. I did a ton of running around this weekend to get those items crossed off.

It’s amazing how many little things can take up so much time. I decided to buy all the birthday cards for the month at the start of each month and write them all out so I can have them done and then just mail them when it’s appropriate to do so. Well, selecting the right card takes forever because I like to pick cards I think the recipient will like. And then there’s the gift selection, which takes awhile because again, I like to pick something the recipient will like.

Then, there’s just the general stuff of life: cleaning the house, doing the laundry, etc. This weekend, I tackled a bunch of those general chores, but with a little extra thrown in. For example, rather than just sorta dust around the books and things on the bookshelf in the dining room, I took everything off the shelf and dusted it thoroughly. I also tossed a bunch of stuff off the shelf. There were several things sitting up there that just needed to be thrown out. Some of it was stuff I thought I was going to do something with, but I had to admit I wasn’t going to get to it so I just threw it away.

For example, I had a pack of gum up there that I got for free when I bought something else. I cannot chew gum so I was going to give it to someone, but I kept forgetting to do that. It’s been there for six months. I finally just threw it out. Now, this could be construed as wasteful and it probably is, but you know I do feel relief at having gotten it out of my space.

There were also several paper items up there that needed to be dumped. There’s no reason for me to keep old job search print-outs or last year’s Bible Study worksheets. It was high time to move on from that stuff. So out it all went. The shelf looks a lot better now.

In addition to all that, I did at least five loads of laundry. Not because I’ve been neglectful of the laundry, but because I washed certain things that don’t always get washed like the comforter from the guest room and the mattress pad from our room. Heck, I even sprayed Febreeze Anti-Microbial on our mattress and dust busted it. I saw this on the show “Clean Sweep” once. It’s supposed to kill the dust mites and then the vacuuming gets them off the mattress.

Anyway, you get the picture. My weekend was very much about tackling the little things. But, the little things add up to big things and I feel so much better when all the little things are done and can stop niggling at my brain. Because you know, I need all the brain power I can access right now.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

All That is Good

I decided a blog about the good things in my life is in order. These are the things I enjoy, that make me happy, that make life worth living:

1. Naps. I just got up from an hour-long nap and I feel so much better for it. I was really tired around 6 p.m. and I thought "Oh, I have so much to do I'm not going to go lie down right now..." but then it occured to me that I needed to listen to my body and get some rest. So I did.

2. My husband. He's a good guy, he just is. I had a ton to do at my office today (yes, on a Saturday) and some of it involved rearranging heavy office furniture. He came with me, helped me out, and even fixed my office computer. He's a good egg as my mother would say:)

3. Doughnuts. I do not eat doughnuts on any sort of regular basis and in fact, have not had a doughnut since last October, but I'm bringing doughnuts to the office on Tuesday and I'm looking forward to the little splurge (which will take place AFTER I've worked out so I won't feel guilty about it).

4. My co-workers. They're fun, funny, and we have a good time together.

5. Being a lawyer. I'm really starting to get the hang of it and I feel good about that. I have a lot to learn, but I've picked up a lot too and that is cause for happiness.

6. Apples. I eat three apples a day, every day, and I love them. Crisp and clean, they are very filling.

7. That good feeling that comes with getting errands done.

8. Watching my credit card balance fall because I have a good plan for paying it off and I'm sticking to it.

9. Watching my savings grow because I have a good plan for saving money and I'm sticking to it.

10. Pizza Zone Friday Nights. Pizza Zone is my favorite place to get pizza and every other Friday, I pick up pizza from there. It's nice to celebrate the end of a long work week with some good pizza.

11. Color printers. It's just cool to see your stuff print out in color that looks great.

There are more, but those are the things that come to me at this moment.