Friday, January 25, 2013

Domesticated Felis Catus

I received the following text message from Richard yesterday:

"I put cat littler on the driveway where my truck was leaking oil yesterday. When I pulled into the driveway just now, Jari [our cat] was in the middle of the driveway pooping in the little pile of cat litter. I had to stop, let him finish pooping, collect the poop, throw it in the garbage can, then finish pulling into the driveway." Ah, the small hilarious moments of domestic life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Belated Lazy Life Update

Every year on my birthday I promise myself that I'll make a PIES outline and post a birthday picture so I can go back and look at where I was on any particular year. I turned 28 on November 13th and haven't gotten around to it yet - this year and every previous year. It's time, damn it! "What is a PIES outline?" you may be asking yourself. My first semester at community college I took a PSY101 course and the professor had us each write a PIES, which outlines the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, and Social aspects of ones life at a given point in time. Here goes!

Physical - I chastise myself daily for not getting any physical exercise. I have been off of school for about a month and lack of time between school and a full time job was once my reason for physical lethargy. Now I have no excuse. The only way to get more exercise is to start exercising. I've certainly gotten sedentary these days. As far as my ulcerative colitis, I had a flare a few months ago, but as of right now, I am doing really well. I still take my meds (sulfasalazine, 2x2) every day, and supplements, including probiotics, fish oil, multivitamin, and calcium. I've gotten even more sketchy about dairy products and have been trying not to push my luck. If I'm feeling wiiiild and craAaazy I'll take a Lactaid tablet and hope for the best. So far, so good. I don't want to totally give up dairy products, because I'm sure the less my body consumes, the more difficult it will be for my body to handle it. And dairy is delicious. Yet another physical development: I got an IUD (ParaGard) a few months ago. I'll spare you the details, but my body is adjusting and it's nice to be taking one less pill every day. I like the idea that my body is producing the natural chemicals it needs and isn't being influenced by hormones via pill. My family has started giving me sideways glances about this, because they like their clan to reproduce. I know I just turned 28, but I am soooo not in a place that I want to procreate right now. I don't know if I ever will be; just kind of rolling with it. Wondering if the maternal yearning will ever find me. So far, not so much. Dare I set a goal for the physical category? It feels so...committal! Which I am 'non.' I will just set the small goal of walking the dogs regularly, which is typically a mile. Not exactly gold-star life changing, but, meh. Baby steps, eh? (Fighting the urge to make a pun linking the ParaGard and my "baby steps" comment about exercising. Good thing for you I'm not clever enough to come up with something!)

Intellectual - I recently finished the Fall 2012 semester. I already got my Associate Arts degree in Spring 2012, but wasn't ready to leave the little pond of community college for the big pond that is a university. I still wasn't completely sold on my choice of major (social work), so a dragged my heels and thought I'd shuffle around and try some classes for a business major. "Why not?" said I. "I've been working in the business world for a long time; I should try my hand at business courses and see if I feel inspired to continue on that track!" said I. Turns out, it was one of the most mundane and grueling semesters of my life. I took accounting, macroeconomics and society & business. I passed them all with B, B, A, respectively, but felt drained and useless and (sometimes) stupid. I don't want my life to be so...formulated? Rigid? For-profit? Absent of human engagement? Whatever it was, I have taken a real step back. I stepped so far back, in fact, that I took this semester off. I am uncomfortable with transferring to a university because doing something new is scary and I'm complacent. Also, it's hella expensive, and I refuse to take out loans, so it will all be out of pocket. Also, the campus is far from my house and I would have to drive there in rush hour traffic in order to work around my work schedule, which is not flexible. This 'semester off' my goal is going to be to take another interest inventory (it's been a few years since my first one), reassess what I want for my life, look at applying for scholarships (which I've never done before so I'm just going to have to fumble my way through it), and apply to the university. The adviser I spoke with said I should have no problem getting in because I have pretty excellent grades. This aspect of my life is what is weighing most heavily on my mind.

Emotional - Hmm. I didn't realize how little I would have to say until reading the word 'emotional.' My whole life, I have always been into writing/journaling most intensely when I am struggling emotionally. I take it as a good sign that my inkwell has run dry. Honestly, I'm happy and comfortable in my life. I think all categories in the PIES outline funnel into this one. One thing that nags at me is the "more, more, MORE" my mind constantly pummels me with. I want myself to achieve more, academically, physically, and artistically (like jewelry making, perfecting the decor/design of my office, photography, family tree stuff, etc). I tend to veg out and watch tv or read rather than physically DOING things, and that bothers me more than anything. I guess one of my stronger emotions would be disappointment in myself for not living up to my full potential and taking the lazy path. Goals for this segment would be to create a simple schedule for artistic activities and force myself to follow through with it. It's mostly about breaking habits and creating a new routine. Once I get started on something I usually get lost in it and really enjoy myself.

Social - Being socially engaged is something I really love. But, as for friendships, I've kind of let most everyone drop by the wayside. I have always been much more close and comfortable around my family than with friends. I tend to be a very guarded person, and now that I'm out of the habit of social interaction, it is hard to convince myself to get back in. I'm feeling a little friend-phobic these days. I think I should let my hair down a little and try to hook up with some old friends. I do miss some of them quite a bit. Good folks. Back to the family thing - within the last 5 months, my mom has moved back to Phoenix from Texas and she is living with my aunt. Shockingly, I have been spending a lot of my free time at their place. There is constant action over there and, though it isn't the most wholesome environment, it feels very comfortable to me because I grew up in a very similar situation. I don't think most people would find it as engaging or natural as I do, but I'm happy she's here. In a way, I feel like it is a chance to repair a little bit of the damage between us. She hasn't cleaned up her act like I would like, but I am learning tolerance and telling myself that the only person who can change her lifestyle is her own self, and there's no need for me to let that take away a possible relationship or closeness between us. So far things have been going really well with that. (Let's pretend this is a smooth segue.) Richard and I have a friend who has started going out and feeding the homeless, and I'd like to get on board with that. When I was in high school I did a tiny bit of volunteer work at a soup kitchen and it was super rewarding. Another thing I've added to my list of things to accomplish is to start looking into becoming a foster parent. I don't think I would do anything with it at least before I'm finished with school (which will be a long time yet) but I know lots of kids out there need a safe place to lay their heads and I have some room, along with the desire to help a child in a position that I could have easily been as a child in if not for certain family members.

As a said at the beginning of this post, I'm including a photo of me taken on Thanksgiving 2012 to have a photo record of myself for 2012. Hooray for this post! It has been a nagging little devil since I first started thinking about it in, say, September? My life motto lately has been "I'll get it done...eventually." And that I did. That. I. Did.