Sunday, March 13, 2011

What am I worth?

I’m having a tattoo removed.

In 1983 I had a tattoo of a butterfly placed on my left shoulder. It seems a lifetime ago. I was married to someone else then. Getting tattooed was something we did together. When we divorced in 1988 it became a constant reminder of this disastrous relationship. I can’t tell you how many times in the ensuing years I have regretted it and wanted it gone. If wishing it away would have worked it would have vanished ages ago. Unfortunately tattoos are a little more permanent than that.

I have felt forced to live with this poor decision made in my younger days for all these years. But no more. I had a consultation and first treatment in Portland this past week.

I have done a great deal of soul-searching over this decision and have spent a inordinate amount of time analyzing my motives. In fact, I have reached the conclusion that I have spent too much time questioning the rightness of this. Not that it is a decision I should have come to in haste, a hasty decision is what got me here in the first place. No, but because the reality is that a huge part of the reason I have taken so long to decide to do this is the money. No kidding, the money involved is considerable. I have never spent this kind of money on something that is pretty much just for me. The real question is: why?

Why don’t I consider myself enough of a priority to spend this kind of money on?

Why don’t I consider myself enough of a priority to spend any kind of money on?

Most women's attitudes about themselves are complex to say the least. Mine are no different. I like to think I am self-aware, self-assured and strong. I know I play an important role in the lives of my husband and my son. I bring home some bacon and I am “Mommy” 24/7. I cook, clean and care. I spend money with no compunction on both Liam and Chris. So why do I feel guilty when I spend money on myself? If I look deeply will I find I really consider myself not worth it?

So maybe, in addition to having this thing out from under my skin and out of my life, there are other, more compelling reasons that make this a step in the right direction. Not that I am going to start blowing money frivolously, but that I will more readily recognize the times when spending money on myself is not frivolous. I have value, so aren’t I entitled to occasionally buy something, just for me, without feeling guilty?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Each day stands alone

Each day stands alone. Don’t worry about yesterday. Don’t anticipate tomorrow.

Having diabetes has taught me this.

Each day of blood sugar tests stands alone. Your system reboots each night so you start fresh each day with a wiped slate. Whatever you ate yesterday doesn’t matter anymore, and whatever you might be eating tomorrow can’t be figured in. However much insulin you had to have yesterday has no bearing on how much you might need today. Each day is different and new.

When you think about it, it is not a bad philosophy for life.

Whatever I did yesterday is over and done with. I can’t change it, and if I guilt-trip myself over it, I will just ruin my today. If I owe someone an apology for yesterday, since I can’t change whatever it was I did or said, I might as well take care of it and go on. If I spend too much time ruing yesterday, I won’t do anything, right or wrong, today. Where’s the good in that?

I wasn’t the best mother I could be yesterday. Well I can’t worry about that, I have to be mom today, too. I can’t change yesterday. I will just have to try harder today.

What if I ate a whole bag of chips yesterday? It wouldn’t have made me feel good, but I did it and it is done, I can’t un-eat it. So, I won’t do that today. Today I will eat the right things in the right proportions and go forward. Feeling guilty today about what I ate yesterday will not help me keep on my diet, it will just help to convince me that I can’t do this anyway. “See, look what happened yesterday, obviously I am not capable of doing this.”

Defeat all over the place.

Don’t believe if you didn’t do it yesterday, you can’t do it today. We are called to learn and make progress. Not to overlook, but to forgive and let go of the sins of the past. This means forgiving ourselves as well as those around us. Forgiving ourselves is actually harder.

Understand, I’m not saying we shouldn’t learn from yesterday. There are lessons in our yesterdays we need to take to heart, but don’t let yesterday steal the best of you.

Tomorrow can be planned for and looked forward to, but it is dangerous to look for disaster there. That is a sure way to paralyze today. Give today your full attention, make today your focus, and tomorrow will take care of itself. It is a new day full of possibilities, so take advantage of it in the morning.

Yesterday and tomorrow can so easily rob me of my today if I let them.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"String too short to use"

10) I really admire people who write on their blog every day. Wow, what dedication. I can’t imagine how that works as I never have enough time on my hands to give any one thing that much attention. My son and my work pretty much have to duke it out for the top spot.

9) It is amazing what a little love can do.

8) I am truly puzzled by the current backlash in this country against teachers. We don’t want our children to have the brightest and the best teaching them. We just want what minium wage can get us because we don’t care if our kids are smart and succeed and become productive members of society. Have I got this right? Wow. We are a lot stupider than I gave us credit for.

7) It is my day off. The sun is shining. My son is definitely on the mend. I’m feeling loved. Life is good.

6) In the grand scheme of things, does it matter if my son wants to eat lunch-type food for breakfast? As long as he eats a decent, well-rounded meal, right? Who cares if mac-n-cheese, an apple and a glass of milk are not someone’s idea of breakfast?

5) I am registered for Quilt Camp! Color me happy! I have so many projects in the works right now. I can’t wait to get up to the lodge and set up my machine and immerse myself in my craft. It is a beautiful setting in the Cascades, and I will be surrounded by like-minded people . . . what’s not to like?

4) Where do my days go? Time goes by so quickly. Here it is March already and my list of things to do is not dwindling. If anything it is getting longer cause I don’t have sense enough to quit adding to it. So the answer to the question is: “Yes, I do make my very own brand of trouble for myself, but only because nobody else will do it for me.” I guess the good news is the list does change, it just doesn’t shrink.

3) I found the yummiest recipe for Tilapia with Hash Browns. I didn’t find it to be too complicated or labor intensive. I have never been the best in the kitchen with fish, but I’m telling you this recipe is foolproof. The recipe is from the Food Network kitchens and if you Google it, it will come right up. It is beautiful coming out of the oven, so makes a nice dish for company as well. Do cook the hash browns on the stove top in a non-stick skillet until they are as crispy as you want them. I did this and then slid them into a regular skillet for the oven time as my non-stick is not oven-proof. The oven time on the recipe is OK, the stove top time is off. Those hash browns take a heck of a long time to get crispy.

2) CJE built me a wonderful little shelf for my office recently. It is not fancy, but it is made to order and perfectly houses my printer and CPU. I love it cause it cleared so much space on my desk. I am all for changing up my space if it means getting the most efficient use of it. I love my office which is good cause I spend a lot of time here.

1) If you were to suddenly find out one work of fiction was actually true, what book would you choose?

Mine would have to be any one or all of Anne McCaffery’s Pern series. I want to ride a dragon!