The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Name it and Claim it! July 9, 2011

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Image by moosepics via Flickr

Hello all.  I usually don’t come up with ideas this fast, but as I was finishing last night’s post, I came up with this idea.  The previous entry was the first in a series.  I think I might call it Daily Victories.  Yesterday, I had a lot of disappointments about a lot of things I’d been hoping for and holding onto, and I managed to stay positive and concentrate on faith that everything is going to be fine, which is something that is usually very hard for me.  So I thought, why not work toward making that a regular habit?  What if I try to search for some kind of victory in every day, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may be? 

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So that’s what I’m doing.  Today’s victory is choosing to believe that yesterday’s bad stuff wasn’t in some way a punishment for some recent mistakes in judgement and making a big donkey of myself.  I think sometimes I have this misguided perception of God as some kind of vindictive scorekeeper, you know?  Like, “Oh, look there- D. acted like a big ol’ jerk and reveled in her pride and judgemental-ness.  How about a little financial crisis there, D.?  Oh, still think you were right?  Still think you want to depend on yourself instead of me?  Boom!  Let’s cripple your career plans.  Pow!  There goes your dream vacation you planned for your kids. ” 

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It’s ridiculous, right?  I don’t know how I ever developed that perception, but sometimes that’s how my brain seems to think God works.  So today I’ve been trying to figure out some other explanation for all the crapola that’s raining down on me right now, and ALSO I’m focusing on being extraordinarily thankful that my life is as blessed as it is.  A girl from my graduating class was killed in a motorcycle accident last weekend.  Other people have diseases, floods, fires, plagues, locusts!  All I did was lose 1/5 of my monthly income and a career change and possibly a once in a lifetime vacation.  What am I whining about? 

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Now, to be fair, I do know that it is ok for me to be upset about stuff.  Everybody’s life has “stuff”!  Nobody’s life is perfect, and nobody is 100% positive and thankful every minute of every day.  If such a person did exist, he wouldn’t last long, because one of us struggling Negative Nancys would CHOKE him!  The question is where do we draw that line between acknowledging that we are in pain and difficulty and perpetually whining about little stuff that we can fix if we just decide to?  Or heck, whining about stuff we can’t fix, but that isn’t all that tragic compared to, say, holding your 20-week old fetus-now baby against your chest and watching his little mouth move as he struggles to breathe for a few minutes before he finally goes back to Jesus.

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Ok, enough heavy.  I had a couple of other small victories today.  Example- I usually eat too much pizza at lunch when I work with this particular boss on Saturdays, and I had 2 small pieces and wasn’t even really tempted to snag the last leftover pieces when no one was looking.  Also, I actually removed some stuff from my garage last night.  And this afternoon sold it to a friend.  🙂 (To whom I am eternally grateful for the funds.)  And finally, Daughter S. was craving Subway so bad she was willing to pay for it herself out of her hard-earned babysitting and long-squirrelled-away birthday monies.  So we went, and part of our meal was three of their macadamia nut-white chocolate chip cookies.  (about a zillion Weight Watchers points each, but super worth it.)  I ate ONE of the cookies, very slowly, tiny bites, and it was like eating half a cheesecake, only better.  I felt so completely satisfied! 

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So that’s it for today’s Daily Victories.  I’m in such a better place tonight.  I am still thinking that things may hold together long enough for me to take the kids on that trip after all, if we can just stumble along and get by until then.  Maybe I’m delusional, but I feel happy and content and strong.  That’s a pretty big victory all by itself!

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Until next time,

D.

 

I’m Not Drowning, I’m Free-Diving for Oyster Pearls! July 8, 2011

free diving with monofin

Image via Wikipedia

Hello all.  You know how sometimes in life, you’re cruising along, things seem to be going pretty well, life is tolerable.  Then you have a bump.  A shoulder-check in the school hallway of life, you might say.  But it’s ok, maybe it was a coincidence.  Maybe they just didn’t see you there.  You know, it’s not like you were pants-ed and shoved in a locker, right?  So you keep walking, and then before you see it coming, you’ve bypassed entirely the experience of being pants-ed and lockered, and graduated to the full-on upside down swirly in the boys’ gym room toilet? 

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Well, that’s the direction my life took today.  The career opportunity I had been holding onto… fell out from under me with reckless abandon.  My financial outlook… took a spectacular engine-on-fire, parachutes-at-the-ready, spiraling nosedive.  My plans for a big, special, once in a lifetime trip with my kids next May… almost certainly flatlined on the table with no paddles in sight.  Without using a multiplicity of metaphors (but another ellipsis) … today stank. 

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Now see, I’m usually what you might call a Negative Nancy.  In fact, my just-married co-worker calls me that almost daily.  She sees and calls me out on my tendency toward intense pessimism.  And usually, when bad stuff happens, (like the other day at work when I found out it was going to cost almost $600 to repair the damage my stupidity did to my car)I fall into a despair, have a weeping meltdown, and worry endlessly about what in the wide blessed world I’m going to do about it!  I felt like doing that today, when one thing after another came crashing down on my head.  I did actually indulge in a little crying to Mommy as I was driving home from work, and I did text my counsellor, even though she’s in another state, and I did share the story with a few chosen customer friends, but I didn’t completely go nuclear as I was tempted to do. 

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See, just the other day on Facebook, a friend of mine posted a quote.  It was a pretty good one, so I’ll share it with you:  “The key to happiness is to count your blessings when other people are adding up their troubles.”  Or something like that.  So today I fought against my normal tendency to get mad and worry and fret and stew and get all terrified about what is going to happen.  I decided to make a firm effort to think positive.  As I was performing my closing chores at work, I was mentally going down the list of all the good things in my life.  Here is most of what I came up with:

I have friends and family who love and support me, I have a roof over my head, my car and my house have air-conditioning, I have a job, I have transportation to my job, I have the intelligence and education to go find another job if I have to, I have my health, I have my kids, they have their health, I have food to eat, my kids aren’t hungry, I have all my senses and all my limbs, God always watches over us and protects us, and we can immerse ourselves in the Word and in prayer when we just flat don’t know what else to do.

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Now right before I was thinking all these wonderful positive things, I was deciding what to post on Facebook about all this.  (Because you know, I’m one of those Facebookers.) My first choice was, “They say when it rains, it pours.  Well somebody pass me some scuba gear, because I’m going under!”  But then I wondered how I could turn that concept around and make it positive.  I felt like I was drowning in troubles, and I came up with… you guessed it.  The title of this entry:  I’m not drowning, I’m free-diving for oyster pearls!   See, because I have heard somewhere how those pearl divers just sink down as low as they can go without equipment, hold their breath for incredible amounts of time, and keep searching until they find oysters with amazing, priceless pearls in them!  So despite the fact that things are incredibly bleak right now, I truly am cognizant of the fact that it is often in the lowest depths of difficulty that we find our richest blessings and goodnesses.  Even though I am tempted to worry and fret and fear, I believe in that truth, and I depend on it.  I have to, or I’d go completely insane.

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So truthfully, I’m not giving up on anything just yet.  I’m not cancelling the cruise, because I have until about March to cancel and still get a full refund.  I’m going to put pencil to paper and see what all I can tighten, cut, trim, and forbearance into eternity.  I’m not going to fret, worry, or sell a kidney on the black market.  I’m going to work and pray and trust, and try to listen to what this might be telling me.  I have a few ideas.  Well, one, actually.  I think maybe God’s telling me I need to get back to teaching.  Or maybe He’s just telling me to go get a job at one of the factories or warehouses around here, where they have insurance and 401k’s and better money than I’m making now.  We’ll see.  I’ve been afraid to try to return to the classroom, but maybe I just needed the right motivation!   In closing, I’m reminded of a lyric from a song by Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus, “I Learned From You.”  The pertinent parts are:

…I do not crumble,

… Strength is something you choose.

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Until next time,

D.

 

All the Reasons I’m Thrilled With Life. Or Not. June 24, 2011

Functioning of the rack and pinion.

Image via Wikipedia

Hello all.  I regret to say that my plans for the next couple of entries have been somewhat derailed.  I had planned to share a day-by-day account of the Disney trip, straight out of my journal, some of which was actually written on the plane.  (all together now- Wooooww!)  Unfortunately, I haven’t had time.  I have a life, you know.  It’s a busy, busy little life.  I exercise.  I go to work.  I kill my car.  I serve cake at the weddings of young people who are goo-ily disgustingly yackingly in love.  I stay the night at my parents’ house when they’re not there because my house is being bug-bombed. 

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So yeah, those are definitely the things I have going on in my life at the moment.  Let’s start at the top.  I have continued going to TurboKick classes at TFP.  I have progressed to a tolerable level of uncoordination and I’m working on perfecting new moves.  I’m occasionally brave enough to do something called a triple-step, and also a burpee.  Or is it a Burpy?  Some exercise move where your hands go down, your butt goes down, and you jump your legs out behind you and back, and then jump up in the air when the music says “POWER!”  Except I don’t jump, because I can’t really get this body off the ground yet.  Or I’m scared to even try.  Or something. 

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The work thing is nothing new.  I am working at the same place.  The new opportunity I mentioned a few entries back, I haven’t heard anything new about yet.  I do know that I dread the next week or so of work, because we’ll be short-handed. 

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Which leads me to the next thing- serving cake.  A sweet girl I work with is getting married tomorrow.  We’re closing work early so we can all go.  I am the cake person.  I have to really watch my attitude, and as my beautiful baby sister advised, “Don’t barf on people’s happiness.”  I’m happy for the kid.  Everyone deserves to be happy.  The groom was a friend of my sister’s when they were in school.  In fact they went to prom together, as friends.  If my enthusiasm seems lukewarm, that’s because it is.  I’m a jealous old harpy.  People who are all lovey-dovey schloopy goopy make me want to yack. 

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I skipped one, didn’t I.  My car.  The story of how I killed it.  Well, I was just trying to have fun with my kids.  Trying to do something together as a family besides sit on our butts in front of the tv and count our dying brain cells.  So I took them to the nearest beach, which is at a lake just outside of town.  I was trying to pick a place to park, and I drove off the edge of the paved area, and I didn’t notice, when making the choice to park there, that the drop-off was significantly deep.  I bottomed out and apparently I damaged my steering rack.  I didn’t know for sure I had done anything serious at first.  The car drove just fine.  I wasn’t having any problems with it until a few days ago (AFTER I had driven it all the way from Ardmore to Norman and back!) when I noticed it was way out of alignment, and then the steering suddenly started seizing up when I tried to make a left turn.  So I managed to get it to a shop today, and they said it was a bad steering rack, and that they’d have to order a part for it, and the part and labor and all would be over $500 to fix.  Now I’m trying to figure out what to do about it.  I can’t afford to fix it without help.  My mother might be able to help me, but I don’t know if she’ll be able to or not. 

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Anyway, I’m mostly mad at myself for doing something so stupid.  I’m worried that we might have to cancel our cruise next year.  I’m wondering if God is telling me I’m not supposed to be going on the cruise.  The cost of repairs on the car is almost exactly the same amount it would have cost to get our passports.  I had been trying to decide whether to go ahead and get them or cruise without them.  The current rule is that they are not required for U.S. citizens taking a close-looped cruise (one that begins and ends in the same US port.)  But they are strongly recommended because if something happens that requires flying home from a foreign port, they ARE required for that.  Otherwise you’ll be delayed waiting for an emergency passport and permission to leave the country and enter the U.S.  by air. 

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ANYWAY!  We’re staying the night at my mother’s house, despite the fact that she’s out of town, because The Dictators (our cats, Hitler and Mussolini) have brought fleas into our house and I am being forced to get rid of them by bug-bombing.  So while we’re refugeeing from the Hot Shot Foggers, I’m also carless, and I have to work at 8am, and someone will have to pick me up and take me everywhere, and I am serving wedding cake at approximately 2:45 tomorrow, and I may be forced to stab my next year’s vacation plans in the heart with a sharpened rusty spoon.

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Why shouldn’t I be totally thrilled with life?

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Until next time,

D.

 

Bon Voyage: Becoming Cruise Crazy and Falling in Love With a BOAT! January 30, 2011

Oasis of the Seas entering the port at Nassau,...

Image via Wikipedia

Hello all.  I have a serious problem.  I’m. CRAZY!  I have developed an obsession on par with anything tv’s Monk ever suffered.  Actually two obsessions.  I have been obsessed with the details of our Disney World trip for over a month, and NOW I have found a new one:  cruises.  Recently, I hatched a plan to take my dear children on a trip for the girls’ graduation, something I could do for them myself, without help from my mother.  (Please note:  I am extreeeeeemely appreciative of my parents and all they do for me.  I’m grateful, I’m thankful, I’m ecstatic.  That being said, I also suffer from constantly not feeling like a full-grown adult because it feels like they help me much more than they should have to at my current age!)

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So anyway.  I decided I wanted to take some kind of special trip for us as a family, something I would plan, arrange, schedule, pay for, and carry out all by myself.  I tossed some ideas to the kids, such as a second Disney trip, Vegas, New Orleans, Branson, Port Aransas, TX (those last two both previous family vacation spots) or a cruise.  I talked to the kids and told them to discuss among themselves what they wanted to do and get back to me.   Meanwhile, I was already getting my heart set on a cruise.  Based on my research, I knew that cruises are always getting more affordable for the ‘less than wealthy’ such as myself, and that with the option of paying it out over time, along with last minute discounts, etc., I could probably make a great cruise vacation happen. 

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Now let me just say here, I think I have been to every cruise booking, low pricing, discount-offering website on the entire internet.  Cruises.com, CruiseCompete, VacationsToGo, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotwire- you name it, I’ve surfed it.  They’ve begun to run together, but here are the realities so far:  1) If I had a brain in my head or any semblance of reasonableness or responsibility, I’d save $$ by not having to fly anywhere and sail out of the closest port to where we live, which is Galveston.  2) Only Carnival and Royal Carribean regularly sail out of Galveston.  3) The kids were interested in a Disney cruise for the characters and character dining, but Disney is pretty pricey, and the only other ships that currently offer characters on board are a small number of Royal Carribean ships that have Dreamworks characters.  Two of these are the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, both of which are MONSTER ships that hold a maximum capacity of over 6000 passengers.   4) Royal Carribean also offers Broadway musicals (!) on the Oasis and the AllureHairspray and Chicago, respectively.  5) I could have lived with cruising out of Galveston until I discovered the character dining and Chicago production on RCL, and from that moment, there was only one ship for me:  The Allure

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A little disclosure here- I never wanted to go on a mega-ship.  I have always asserted that if I were to ever go on a cruise, I would want a nice, quiet, friendly, intimate little ship that holds two- to three- thousand people.  But here I am, completely hooked on this idea, having every intention of doing whatever I have to do to make a cruise on the Allure a reality.    I mean seriously?  This ship has everything.  No, I mean EVERYthing.  Wanna rock climb?  They’ve got it.  Wanna learn to surf on a FlowRider or ride on a Zipline?  They’ve got it.  Want Mystery Theater, ice skating, aqua theater?  How about a carousel?  Central park?  Pizza restaurant?  Ice cream?  Donut shop?  A dozen different bars, lounges, and clubs?  Learn to salsa dance?  Ice carving?  Yep.  They’ve got it.

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And you thought I was kidding.  So basically, even though I am fully aware that I will have to work, pinch, scrimp, save, mortgage the farm, and possibly sell a kidney and a cornea or two, I have decided that this is the cruise we want, on the ship we want, and I am going to book it as soon as I get my tax return back.  I’m going to look around and find the best travel agent I can find and get the best deal I can, and I’m going to take my kids on a ginormous floating amusement park.  Oh, wait- where does it go?  You know, it hardly matters.  As it happens, the itinerary is Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Nassau, Bahamas; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Oops- did I mention it sails out of Fort Lauderdale?  Yeah, so I have to add air travel on top of the cruise.  Brilliant, right?  Falling in love with a ship that leaves from 1400 miles away.  But what’s done is done.  As of right now, I am bound and determined to make this happen.  Daughter S. is already salivating over the giant cupcake as big as her head from the Cupcake Bakery; Daughter J. is looking forward to the How to Train Your Dragon ice show and dining with Shrek, and The Boy?  Hopefully this is not an ill omen, but he showed particular interest in how you get into the bridge and what button you push to make it go.  He’s just ready for the whole thing.  You know what?  So am I! 

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Bon Voyage!

Until next time,

D.  

PS- The picture above is the Oasis, the older of the two monster-ships.  I know they’re both pretty ugly from the outside, somewhat resembling a floating cracker box, but hey, why quibble?  They’ve got all the goodies.  And… we like goodies!

 

 
The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

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