Thursday, December 14, 2006

Family Burdens

For most of my life, my dad has been a special event and gift giving idiot.

For Christmas he would always drag me out on Christmas Eve to find something for my mom, hours before the family was supposed to show up for our celebrations. Then there were the years that my parents decided not to get each other anything, but my mom always made sure to get him some snacks and a couple of his favorite magazines. Dad always took their deal at face value and so my mom never got anything. Then there are the many, many birthdays and anniversaries that he flat out forgot.

Regardless of who was right or wrong in any of these situations, Mom ended up feeling sad and neglected. Over the years I began to email or call my dad a few days before a big event to remind him that it was coming up and encourage him to pay attention to it. In fact I just sent the "Remember your anniversary" email today. And for those that I forgot to remind him about, inevitably I would call my mom to wish her a happy whatever and she'd be melancholy b/c my dad didn't do anything.

I don't know how it happened, but all of a sudden I feel responsible for this reminder and consequently guilty if I forget. How did I end up in this position, squarely between my parents? I don't know where exactly it comes from. Perhaps from the very close relationship I have with my mom and that I would do anything I could to make her happy. Or maybe I'm just too damn meddlesome and I should keep my nose out of other people's relationships. I don't know the why of the situation, but I know that it sucks to feel like I could have done something when he has disappointed her again.

How do I extract myself from this loop?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Inefficiency Stinks

Few things are worse than a meeting where no one is "in control" of it. So the discussion barrels off on its own course and hours are spent talking, but nothing gets done. The people who are technically senior or in charge don't or won't step in and with a lack of guidance then everyone feels the need to give their opinion. Which of course only makes the meeting longer and more excruciating for those of us who are itching to jump in, make decisions and move things along, but can't because it is not our meeting nor our place to do so.

Lately there are more and more days where I wonder if I seriously wouldn't be happier being a Pilates instructor. At least then I'd be working long hours to help someone's health, not 80 hrs a week to save some huge company a buck or two.

Plus then I'd be the boss of me and could run my own (efficient) meetings.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A pretty decent quiz

I've thankfully had a bit of downtime today, so I was catchin' up on my friend Beth's blog on MySpace and she posted this quiz by Dr. Phil "allegedly". =) I thought it was pretty darn accurate, so here it is. PS--I got a 36.

Dr. Phil's Test: Here you go. Try this!

Below is Dr. Phil's test. (Dr. Phil scored 55; he did this test onOprah -she got a 38. Some folks pay a lot of money to find this stuffout! Don 't be overly sensitive!

The following is pretty accurate and it only takes 2 minutes. Take this test for yourself and post it.The person who post this placed their score in the subject box.Please do the same when posting.Don 't peek, but begin the test as you scroll down and answer.

This is a real test given by the Human Relations Dept. at many of the major corporations today. It helps them get better insight concerning their employees and prospective employees.

It's only 10 Simple questions, so grab a pencil and paper, keeping track of your letter answers to each question.


1. When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning
b) during the afternoon early evening
c) late at night

2. You usually walk...
a) fairly fast, with long steps
b) fairly fast, with little steps
c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
d) less fast, head down
e) very slowly

3. When talking to people you...
a) stand with your arms folded
b) have your hands clasped
c) have one or both your hands on your hips
d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with...
a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
b) your legs crossed
c) your legs stretched out or straight
d) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with...
a) big appreciated laugh
b) a laugh, but not a loud one
c) a quiet chuckle
d) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you...
a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and youreinterrupted...
a) welcome the break
b) feel extremely irritated
c) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
a) Red or orange
b) black
c) yellow or light blue
d) green
e) dark blue or purple
f) white
g) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep you are...
a) stretched out on your back
b) stretched out face down on your stomach
c) on your side, slightly curled
d) with your head on one arm
e) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are...
a) falling
b) fighting or struggling
c) searching for something or somebody
d) flying or floating
e) you usually have dreamless sleep
f) your dreams are always pleasant

1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.
OVER 60 POINTS: Others see you as someone they should "handle with care." You're seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

51 TO 60 POINTS: Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile,rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful&practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone whos extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is causedpartly by your careful nature.

UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions & who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that dont exist. Some people thinkyou're boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren't.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Quelle suprise!

Okay, so last post to the contrary, my husband is actually quite a catch. He always makes me smile, is one of the most even-tempered people I know and every once in a while he surprises me and absolutely makes my heart hum with pleasure.

This is crunch week on my project and work is ruling my life. DH has not only graciously jumped into the role of taking care of the house and making sure I eat more than Poptarts for 3 meals a day but he had a special surprise for me when I came home the other day.

Due to our recent move and the ongoing renovation of a bathroom our garage has been a disaster zone. This has lead to some chilly mornings already here in Chicagoland as I've gone out to get into the car. Call me spoiled but, I like to have my car semi-warm and not covered in frost.

Well, as I rolled into the driveway after a gruelling 13 hrs at the office I was thrilled when I discoved that my lovely, wonderful, DH had gotten my side of the garage cleared. It may sound like it's a small thing, but he also had a hot meal ready along with a cold bottle of wine, so it made my day and was exactly what I needed at that time.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

When alcohol flows like water

So, am I wrong to be irritated that my DH is out of town for a class and he has gone out drinking every night with his class mates?

I guess I'm just a bit surprised. We both enjoy having the occasional drink, but rarely go to a bar to do so. I know that his company arranged for 2 of the events so attendance was mandatory and they oh-so kindly paid for an open bar, setting the stage - I guess - for bar-hopping afterward. The thing that really bugs me, and I can't decide if this is just totally selfish, is that he knows I'm working 12+ hrs a day and under a lot of stress. Usually he's my sanity check and the one who can calm me down with just a smile--needless to say, I lean on him pretty heavily at times and I've been spoiled. Not to mention the fact that going to a bar isn't something I'd choose to do with my free time while on business anyway--shopping, hell yes--and I'd probably go for a while since I'm truly not anti-social, but going out and drinking heavily is NOT my cup of tea.

So I was expecting to talk to him for a while each night - thank you cell phones! - but for 4 nights straight he's been out when I called and had plans to stay out past when I was going to go to bed. In fact he's in Atlantic City right now...and I'm still working/taking a break from working at 1115 pm. This sucks.

I know, all this amounts to is bitching and moaning, and I'm not even sure I'm going to post this, but justified or not, I'm ticked. However, I know that nothing good will come of voicing this to DH, so thanks for listening. If the patten continues the next time he goes out of town, then I'll say something, but for now I know that he's been missing the camraderie of the military and all his buddies, so I don't want to be a bitch and deny him what he's found.

Now that I think about it...there's the true rub. I don't have anyone of my own to hang out with yet (since we just moved 3 mos ago). How pathetic is it that in a frickin' city of 8 million people I can't find someone to share a martini with? (And Mamacita--you don't count! You know I love you dearly and love the time I get to spend with you, but I'm sure you don't want to be the only girl I hang with.) And it's not even like I have had the time to do anything besides shower and work lately, but it would be nice to know that someone was there if I needed them.

I miss all my girls--you know who you are.

Well, work is staring me in the face while my pillow sings like the siren she is...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Masters of our own Vacation

Recently I had the realization that in our nearly 5 years of marriage, my DH and I have only taken one vacation by ourselves. Which, by the way, was our honeymoon in 2002. Which by the way sucked due to a rotten package deal and one very nasty cleanliness issue in a Ft Lauderdale hotel.

So we declared a mulligan on the honeymoon and redid it in 2004. We had a great time in Paris and in Germany, but my sister was along for part of the ride and then we visited some of DH's family for the rest of the trip. In 2005 DH's entire clan got together for a huge ski trip (my first) and I had an absolute blast. In 2006 we paired up a visit from my MIL to our CA home with another ski trip and again, had a great time. But as talks of a 2007 extended family trip began to float around, I had my revelation. Not that I don't love them, in fact I see my in-laws more than my own family, however I think it's time we go solo again. So I brought this up to DH and he agreed to do something just for us next year. Hooray!

Unfortunatley now the planning of the trip is squarely in my lap. God Bless my MIL who in large part coordinated the last 2 trips...I wonder if I could pay her to be our vacation planner this year? So now we have to figure out where we want to go. I get the Eurpoe bug about every 2-3 years and Italy has been on my mind. I only saw the highlights of Rome the last time I was there and DH has never been. Then there's a friend who's getting married in France in June...but that ruins the "just for us" intent, doesn't it? Plus, with the stress of the last year, lying on a beach for hours on end is very appealing. Has anyone ever gone to one of those cheesy Sandals resorts? We're definitley not looking for group beach games, but having everything at our fingertips and being cost inclusive looks like a good deal. Does anyone know what the catch is?

Even though it's going to take a bit more effort on my part to plan things, I'm really looking forward to it. Now I REALLY need to get that new gym membership this week, so that I don't frighten the natives in a bikini!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Crisis of Will

Okay everyone, bear with me...I've been inspired by some of my friends and their blogs, so here we go. Hopefully I can find enough interesting things to write about...

So, for those of you who haven't traveled the last year with me, I've gone through quite a transition in these 12 months. Both my DH and I left the Air Force and found kick-ass jobs in the civilian world. This of course took months of effort, the help of a top notch recruiting firm (Thank you, Cameron-Brooks), and involved a serious relocation from the West Coast to the Midwest. I definitely found a "stretch" position with a huge, innovative, great company that so far I love.

Why then, after all this effort do I find myself questioning if I have it in me to work hard enough to succeed? It's not that I'm having a Crisis of Capability--I know that I can do the work. The question that keeps pestering me is do I have the ethics within me to actually do the work. You know, you hear all the time about someone who's simply driven to succeed. They work umpteen hours a week and live and breathe for their jobs and they are very, very successful at what they do.

Is there anything wrong with being on the flip side of that coin?

I have to admit, on days like today which included a 3-hr meeting from Hades at the end of an 11hr day, all I want is some serious work-life balance. I want to work my 40-hrs and then go home. I don't want to be working on weekends or at 10:54pm (current time--just finished working). I suppose the problem is that I'd love to be highly compensated for all that "balance." Am I missing some critical gene that would have ultimately made me successful in business? I don't know. I know some people are born to work and others have no desire to do anything besides raise their children. I'm so jealous that they've figured it out for themselves, but where does that leave the rest of us who haven't gotten the neon sign from the Universe yet?

Stuck with a crisis of will, apparently.