Monthly Archives: July 2016

I’m Not Comfortable With This

Lately, I hear a lot about stepping out of one’s comfort zone and conquering fears. I don’t know if this a new thing or if I just haven’t been paying attention, but suddenly I hear it every day. Personally, I think there’s a reason that we feel uncomfortable about certain things and stepping over that line isn’t something I’m comfortable doing (did you see what I did there?).

I am extremely uncomfortable with nudity. I have no plans to ever step out of that comfort zone and go out in public naked. You’re welcome!
comfort zone, highway sign

Fears need to be conquered if they are irrational, but some fears are healthy and normal. My mother has a fear of fire – as in the kind that burns down houses. She’s not afraid of making s’mores over a campfire or warming herself in front of a roaring fireplace. Is the fear of her house burning down something that needs to be conquered? How would she conquer it – by burning her house down? No. She needs to be prepared for it, with smoke detectors and an escape plan. Believe me, she’s prepared! We were probably the only family in the neighborhood who had fire drills when I was growing up.

I read an article in the Harvard Business Review titled “If You’re Not Outside Your Comfort Zone, You Won’t Learn Anything.” Needless to say, I completely disagree. I don’t believe that learning is outside a comfortable reach. I think most of us enjoy learning new things. My grandparents always told me that I should learn something new every day.

Maybe I don’t understand because my comfort zone is broad and my fears are minimal. I’m not afraid of heights or public speaking. I don’t have a fear of dogs or strangers. My children can tell you that the only things I’m afraid of are bats and the Candy Man from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
candyman
Well, those were my only fears until this election came along. If you’ve ever wondered why I don’t talk about politics in this blog, it’s because I don’t find it funny. This presidential election is a lose-lose situation.  Quite frankly, I’m scared, but I don’t know how to conquer that fear.

Any fear that has a negative effect on your life should be quelled. My life isn’t crippled by my fear of bats or the Candyman, but if you have an aversion to something that needs to be extinguished, get out there and conquer those fears! Step outside your comfort zone and experience all that life has to offer. As long you’re comfortable with that.

Eddie’s New Friend

It’s me again… Eddie. My human is busy so I’m filling in on the blog this week. You may recall the last time I wrote (Click here to read my last post), that my corgi girlfriend Penny was expecting a baby brother named Archer. Well, he showed up in January all cute and fluffy with his big eyes and funny ears. As soon as I saw him, I knew there was only one thing I could do. Kill him!

Archie, Archer, Corgi

DON’T JUDGE ME! I’m a dog and this is instinct. This puppy was a clear threat to me and my pack and I had to get rid of him. Just look at him…

Corgi, puppy

It turns out that the humans didn’t agree that he was a threat. Instead, they saw me as a threat to him. Can you believe that? So they made me wear a muzzle. They called it my “Hannibal Lecter mask.” I have no idea what that means, but to be honest, I’m glad they made me wear it. Instincts are hard to fight and I really didn’t want to hurt the little guy. I couldn’t seem to help myself.

A few weeks after Archie arrived, my humans went on vacation leaving me with Penny, Archie and their human. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was going to spend the whole week alone unless I started getting along with the puppy. So, I was nice to Archie and the human let me sleep with her pack all week. By the time my humans came home, I wasn’t wearing my Hannibal Lecter mask anymore!

We’ve been buddies ever since. The poor thing was scared of everything and didn’t know how to be a dog. He followed me around like a puppy.. no pun intended. I taught him to chase squirrels and bark at cars. I showed him how to run up and down the fence line barking at everybody who walks by. I taught him that this is our territory, and those people are trespassing. I taught him to hang out under the table when the humans eat and watch for falling food (I’m pretty sure the human male does it on purpose). Archie scratches on the door when he needs to go outside – and he finally knows when to go outside!

dog friends

 

We’re all dressed up for a wedding

Penny and Archie have moved to their own house now, but they come back to visit me often. I am confident that I have taught Archie everything he needs to know to keep his human safe in her new house. Don’t tell him I said this, but I miss the little guy.

 

Corgis
Penny and Archie at their new house.

 

 

For Better Or Work

A few months ago, a friend quit her job without the benefit of a replacement job. She was the second friend to do so in less than a year. Most people would say that’s crazy, but it made me think… what if jobs were like relationships?

We can’t leave a bad job until we’ve found a better one. Conversely, when we leave a bad relationship, we’re encouraged not to jump right in to the next one. We should take some time to ourselves, heal, reflect, and “find” ourselves again before letting starting another relationship.

If jobs were like relationships, we would say to our unhappy friends… “You need to leave that job, It’s not good enough for you. It doesn’t appreciate you. You could do so much better than that job.” “That job is too demanding. It doesn’t care about you or what you need. It’s all about itself and how much you can do for it.” “I heard that your job is seeing other applicants. You need to get out now, on your own terms.” “You should take some time to yourself before getting involved in another job. You may find that you’re happier without one.
quitting
They say that people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. I can understand why. I’ve had the bully, the liar, the crier, and the gossip. The paranoid one. The one with no emotions. The one who hated nurses. The one who fired me before my first day on the job. And the one who got fired on my birthday.

If jobs were like relationships, we’d give very different advice to our friends. A friend advised me to put up with a bad boss because the benefits of the job were exceptional. Would we tell a friend to stay with a husband who disrespected her, didn’t appreciate or value her just because he has good insurance? I was also told “if you quit, the boss will treat the next person even worse.” Isn’t that like telling a battered wife to stay in her abusive marriage so the next wife won’t get beaten up?

If work was something we did to fulfill ourselves and contribute to society, rather than a way to pay our bills, then having a job would feel less like work. Bosses would be far better people if their employees were there because they wanted to be, not because they had to.

Wouldn’t it be great if managers applied for you? You would interview them and choose the best applicant. If they were honest in their interviews, you might hear, “I’m going to delegate most of my duties to you, then take credit for all of your work.” Or “My biggest fear is that you’ll figure out that I have no clue what I’m doing.” If you’re lucky, an applicant would say, “I’m just here to make sure that you have everything you need to do your job efficiently. I will help you any way I can to succeed.” You might even find one who makes you feel valued and appreciated.

badboss

Accent Mark

Recently, a friend referred to an Australian friend of his who was, according to him, “not very good looking.” I felt compelled to interrupt his story to explain the correlation between accents and attractive points. It seems he was completely unaware that there is a sizable difference between being a beautiful American and being a beautiful foreigner. Therefore, he was unaware that it’s virtually impossible to know an unattractive Australian.

An average looking Australian walking down the street may not turn any heads. But if he turns to me and says “G’day,” well, he’s just earned 50 handsome points for nothing more than having that accent. Just as any Brit travelling in America gets an automatic 20 points added to his IQ, because we think that everything sounds smarter when it’s said with a British accent.

accent2

German is a harsh sounding language, but speak English to me in your German accent, and I’m all ears. When I was a teenager, there was a boy about my age visiting my church. I didn’t have much interest until I heard him speak. He wasn’t just visiting my church. He was visiting America from his home in Germany! Of course, I thought I was in love. Now I can’t even remember his name.

One night, years ago, I was the nurse taking care of a little girl from Spain. Her father woke up, rolled out of bed, hugged me tightly and strung together a beautiful Spanish paragraph. I have no idea what he said, but it sounded like I was beautiful and he was madly in love with me. I would have married him right then if he had asked me. But then again, maybe he did.

accent

Not all accents are sexy. Not all accents have the same effect on all of us. There are some accents that I can’t even understand. I don’t love the French accent, but many do. My daughter loves the Boston accent. Boston has been on her list of places to visit for quite some time. As luck would have it, there’s a conference in Boston this very weekend that she is attending for work. At this moment, she’s somewhere in Boston listening to people who find it “wicked hahd” to pronounce the letter R.

So, if you’re feeling down about yourself and have a little extra money, hop on a plane to some foreign land. You’ll be the one with the sexy foreign accent. They’ll love you! I promise.

Hi Anxiety!

My local grocery store, where I’ve been shopping for 15 years, is under reconstruction… again. I suppose that’s re-reconstruction. Nothing is where it used to be and nothing makes sense. Diapers and beer are on the same aisle. Those things may be related as in, too much beer could lead to having a baby in diapers. But it doesn’t seem appropriate, no matter how funny.

When you’re in a familiar place that feels completely unfamiliar, it can cause anxiety. The disarray coupled with the 80s music they play, just makes me want to hurry up and get out of there which leads to bad, hastily made decisions.

First let me address my comment about 80s music. I know that I’m in a very small minority of people who don’t love it. There’s not even enough of us to create a club called “I Hate Eighties Music.” There was a lot of great music in the 80s, but most of it is really awful. I’m talking about Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Big Country, Corey Hart, Howard Jones, Thompson Twins, Spandau Ballet…  every one of these artists sounded exactly the same. If you liked one you liked them all, Or, as in my case, if you hated one you hated them all. How many of these artists lasted beyond that decade? NONE!

This was the music of my generation and I couldn’t stand it. In high school, I remember thinking that my parents went to 60s parties because the music and the fashion of the sixties was phenomenal. I was certain that no one would ever go to an 80s party in the future. Why would anyone want to wear what we were wearing at the time, or listen to this dreadful music? I was wrong. People still love it. But when I hear that unmistakable throaty sound of the eighties ? “Everybody wants to rule the world,” ?  I want to abandon my grocery cart and leave the store.

And that takes us back to my most recent hasty decision made at the grocery store. I was feeling lost in a place that should be familiar, imagining that this must be what the early stages of dementia feels like. I was making my third trip through the store looking for toilet paper. Once I finally found where they’d hidden it, I grabbed the first brand-name that I recognized. That was a mistake. It’s that awful one-ply stuff like they give you at work and public bathrooms. It’s the stuff my husband calls “John Wayne toilet paper” because “it don’t take crap off of anybody.”  

 
johnwayne
He didn’t take any crap!


I’m too cheap to throw away anything that I spend money on, so I’m suffering through it. I’m wasting it. Using three times as much as I need. But it never ends. I swear it’s multiplying in the closet. I think it’s making baby rolls of toilet paper. Multiplying like rabbits, without the cute fluffiness. 

I won’t say the brand name because it is not this blog’s business to harm anyone’s reputation. But let’s just say they use the word “Soft” in their name which is a LIE. It attributes it’s softness to a heavenly being. A more accurate name might be “Hard Fallen Angel.”

After I finished this post, I went to the grocery store for bananas. It appears that the redesign is complete. Even though I only needed one item, I walked through the entire store just to see it all. It’s quite beautiful, as grocery stores go.  The diapers are now with the feminine products. No beer in sight. There was no music playing overhead, but in one part of the store I did hear 90s music. Another improvement. I think I can finally say goodbye to my grocery shopping anxiety.

[Post note: Holy cow! It’s August 11th and I just now used the last of that toilet paper. It has been six weeks since I posted this and I don’t know how long I had the stuff before I wrote about it. I’ve had relationships that lasted less time!. I’ve been using it for more than it’s intended use trying to get to the end of it. It finally stopped mating and reproducing in the closet. Perhaps there was some sort of toilet paper fight that drove them apart. I don’t know. I’m just glad it’s over.]