30 June 2011

Don't worry, Be happy

Life can get depressing. The deeper into it that i get, the more i realize that it's not easy and it's probably not going to get any easier. There is always something to worry about...and i tend to worry a bit too much. In fact, i get myself all tied up in nervous knots about money or school or work or lack of time. And if i don't have anything in my life going on, i worry about my loved one's lives. Sometimes i feel exhausted and quite often exclaim "i don't want to do it anymore!" (It meaning anything and everything). Jacob is constantly having to reassure me by saying "Everything is going to be ok."

Is it? Probably. But most of the time i just feel overwhelmed.

As the spring lingered colder, wetter and longer than usual (or so i thought) i vowed to myself that if the sun would just come out and the weather warm up, i would be perfectly content. Well, come the sun did, but my happiness did not come with it...at least, not without a little effort. As the summer moved in, i decided to try harder to be happier. This is what i did:

*Read my scriptures more faithfully. Amazing what peace that brings into life.
*Planted flowers.
*Read Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. NOTHING makes me realize the beauty in the world and the beauty in living as much as that book does. It brings me back to earth. And it fills my heart and head with poetry. In fact, i might have to read it every month this summer.

And, i started taking pictures when i felt happy (and consciously realized it) of what was making me happy. i was surprised how fast i filled my iPhone with pictures...and how flipping through them later made me just as happy as i felt in that moment. i was also surprised at the simplicity of the cause of my happiness. In other words, i found joy in the little things going on in my life: our garden, the birds, being with Jacob, driving in the car together, fresh laundry on the line, and the beautiful country in which we live.

It's kind of a picture overload, but here are some of my favorite snapshots over the last couple of weeks.

16 June 2011

The little things that keep me amused

Sometimes happiness at work is:

*A fun new gel highlighter

*Suddenly realizing the day is over and it has flown by

*A voicemail from a driver panicking because he'd lost his pants on a shuttle {and it wasn't even a prank call!}

*Building the perfect rubberband ball

*Decorating the boss' desk with Justin Bieber memorabilia

*Finally filing something that has been previously unresolved for months

*Accordian Post-It notes

*Making the perfect "That's what she said" joke in front of the whole shop

*Someone bringing in food to share

*Laughing with the other girls at the names of the passengers {think Chlorine, Zsolt and TyRay}

*When someone besides me falls on the stairs

*Fridays :D

Have a wonderful Friday tomorrow and an amazing weekend. I'm sure I will!

12 June 2011

Oh Baby

Maybe it's my age, maybe it's because most of my friends are Mormon or maybe i'm just surrounded by extremely fertile people, but it seems that a plethora of people around me (and those i communicate with via technology) are reproducing rather rapidly. It seems to come in waves...this is the second or third wave since i've been off my mission. With the flux in pregnant women or recent new parents surrounding me, my conversations (and therefore my thoughts) have focused on children, pregancy and babies.

This is how i really feel.

i'm happy for people that want babies and have them. i'm sad for people that want babies and don't have them. i don't like to entertain the thought of people that don't want babies and have them.

Hearing about pregnancy grosses me out. There is nothing magical or inviting when i hear about elbows in ribs, peeing when you sneeze, stretch marks and morning sickness. And everytime i hear someone whine about it, i want to refer them to the curse that God placed upon Eve and say "What did you expect...a walk in the park?"

Hearing about child birth (in any of its forms) gives me anxiety attacks. There is nothing at all remotely ok in my mind with the words bloody show, mucus plug or afterbirth. Everytime i see the word "dilate" in a facebook status, i scream out loud. Literally.

i hate holding babies. i used to blame it on the mother's hovering over me…or their floppy heads…or that they are so fragile…or that i might make them cry. But the truth is that i am quite comfortable holding a baby in and of itself…i really don't mind if it fusses and i know how to keep their heads steady. The real issue is what people say when i hold a baby. They spout off things like "You are a natural!" or "You look so good with that baby!" or "You'll make an excellent mother!" or "Doesn't that make you want to have a baby?" Now i feel like i can't even LOOK at a child for fear of these comments coming my way and having to refute them. Can't i enjoy someone else's child without yearning for one of my own?

It's very discouraging when people ask if i am pregnant. Just because i wear an empire waist one day doesn't mean i'm pregnant. Just because i have to use the bathroom multiple times doesn't mean i'm pregnant (i just drank a lot of water). Just because i think a baby outfit is cute doesn't mean i'm pregant. And it doesn't mean i'm pregnant if i say i'm not feeling well, or get emotional during a movie, or crave something salty, or say that i didn't sleep well the night before. Please, stop asking. It's quite damaging to my self esteem and may make me believe i'm obese which would lead to anorexia (i couldn't result to bulemia because then they would cry "Morning sickness!")

The absolute worst is when people ask me when i am going to start trying to have children. They just assume that since i've been married for 2.5 years i'm itching for posterity. i want to shout out "It's none of your business!" Sometimes i have to bite my tongue hard in order to keep from uttering a completely inappropriate comment such as "Well, we are trying really hard, but for some reason my birth control keeps me from getting knocked up!"

So, for the present, let me set some ground rules. Don't ask me if i'm preggo and don't ask me about reproducing. Although i love you dearly, please don't be offended if i make faces and moan in pain and complain of my ears bleeding if you choose to speak to me about your birthing experience or the "joys" of pregnancy. And, if you include any details of the above topics in your "status," the comment "UUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!" is probably from me :)

02 June 2011

Cleaning Conundrum

So I have been dealing with this small problem…my husband is too good. I know, it doesn’t sound like much of an issue, but hear me out.

I have this slight obsession with a having a clean house. It’s quite important to me, which Jacob understands, and therefore he supports me completely. During the week little chores are done, but the big stuff is saved for the weekend. Every Saturday we work together on “Saturday’s cleaning.” I put together a “To-Do” list…just the normal things, you know, like:

1: Clean the bathrooms
2: Vacuum the carpets
3: Scrub all the baseboards with a toothbrush.

Jacob starts with such a good attitude; he jumps into “the list” whole-heartedly, prepared to help me check everything off. Then something like the following happens (this is just ONE specific incident that happened…it has been repeated in many different forms):

We are cleaning the kitchen and, as I scrub on the sink, I notice that the blinds in front of me need dusting. I start wiping the blinds and realize they aren’t going to get as clean as I want them unless I take them out of the window and really work on them. In taking the blinds down, I see how dirty the window is, which leaves me wanting to clean the window track too. Pretty soon, Jacob has removed the window screen AND the window and he is hosing down the screen and washing the outsides while I’m scrubbing the track with Q-tips. And that’s not the end of it, either. As I’m standing on the counter to reach the top of the window, I notice that the light fixtures are dusty. Of course I can’t leave them like that once I know how much dust is there! Thus, I attack the light fixtures. Once this is all done in the kitchen, everything looks so bright and clean with the windows and lights fixed up. And I know what I have to do…wash ALL the windows and light fixtures so that my WHOLE HOUSE looks this nice. Three hours of hard, cleaning labor later, the only thing checked off the list is “Clean kitchen sink.”

After this ordeal Jacob said, “You know that book called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? How one thing leads to another and then to another? Well, I need to write one called If You Give Jennifer a Sponge.” And you know what? I don’t think he was kidding.

So here is the problem with Jacob being “too good.” He feels guilty reading or playing on the computer while I clean the house. He doesn’t want to stop cleaning and leave me going. But on the other hand, he is DONE doing housework after a couple of hours…and I’m not. He just wants to check the stuff off the list…I want to work on whatever cleaning fantasy enters my mind. I don’t mind if he leaves me cleaning alone; I just want to keep going until I’m satisfied. That leaves Jacob saying “Are we done yet? Is this the last thing yet?” and me frustrated because I feel like I either have to stop cleaning (which I’m not ready to do) or torture him by “making him” keep going.

The solution? A big yard + summer weather = marital bliss. Now that we live on half an acre (that is FINALLY no longer covered in snow) Jacob can put in an hour of yard work for every hour I work on the house. And no matter how long I work, he can always find something outside to do—mow, trim, pull weeds, water the garden, fertilize, mulch, plant, etc. We both win…I can clean to my heart’s content and Jacob can contribute without having to clean. Not only that, but we have a sparkling house inside and out.