After Work, Work Stuff

I have this work thing I’m supposed to go to after work today, maybe, if I decide to go. I hate after work, work things especially when there will be no booze and nothing but dry finger food. It’s only an hour of my time and it was sort of nice to be invited to it but still…..I don’t want to go.

The point of this work thing is to invite people who are supposedly outstanding in each department and get them to mingle with each other. My girlfriend says it’s networking and apparently it is important but I hate it. I don’t know these people and I don’t want to know them because I know they don’t really care about me much.

I’m younger than most of them and working in a “lower” position with not a whole lot of chance for advancement. My bosses acknowledge that I am an asset to the company but that is because I have worked hard to be the best at what I do and I also try to teach others to be as good as me.

Even with all of that though I will probably never move up unless I change positions. I have to move laterally to move up but the problem is I like where I am at and I would hate to move to another position, that I hate, for a chance, not a guarantee, to move up. So these people show very little interest in me.

The other reason I’m not sure I want to go is because all of the people on my training team are going and not all of them are as professional as I am. I don’t want to feel obligated to hang out in some corner with them while they complain and tell inappropriate jokes. Don’t get me wrong I am often seen complaining and telling inappropriate jokes right along with them but there is a time and a place for that and this isn’t it. I know that but some of them don’t.

So, if I go, there is a good chance I could be embarrassed or look stupid all by association with my own co-workers. I don’t need that at all, especially when we cause enough trouble for us all to constantly be on thin ice anyway. What if one of them says something stupid? Or starts dropping f-bombs within ear shot of some big wig higher-up?

Sigh, I know my team wouldn’t do that. Actually there is a small chance those things could happen but I doubt it. I think I am more worried about myself looking stupid or messing up. I don’t know how to talk to people in settings like this. I think maybe I don’t feel good enough to be there in the first place. Yeah, I’m just scared I guess.

I’ve learned that whenever you feel afraid of something it probably means that is something you need to do. So I think I might actually go to this thing tonight and try to talk to one or two people. I think that would be a nice personal accomplishment. Just have a short conversation with a few people, learn something new and tell people a few things about myself!

And now I am in panic mode and I have hours before this thing to think of all the worst case scenarios. Luckily work is keeping me busy and I think some headphones and some calming music might get me through. I’m also going to chat up my boss and maybe get a few pointers out of her about what the protocol and the proper etiquette is at these things.

Sigh, I’m definitely over thinking this….

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Monday Motivation

It’s Monday again and I coming back to work after 5 days off so I’m really not in the mood today. But that’s no way to think so I am trying my best to get my attitude on a more positive track. Starbucks is helping. I’ve already made it through the first part of my shift at work and it went pretty well. I’m trying to remember that today is a new start, not only to the week, but to the month, and a chance for me to begin again and do better.

This week I plan to take it easy at work. Last month was super busy and on top of that I had had a nasty cold. Now things have calmed down and I am feeling better so I plan to catch up on anything I missed doing and focus on my writing. I am still thinking over what I have learned through NaBloPoMo and I have a long list of writing topics to get started on, plus starting Blogging 201. Luckily I have two weeks off of work soon and I plan to spend most of it writing.

This week the Christmas season is in full swing and I feel bad because I have no idea what I am buying for gifts for my loved ones. I feel like the holidays snuck up on me and all of a sudden I feel like I am too late. Buying gifts is so much more difficult than yu think it’s going to be. Every gift idea I have is either too expensive or too cheap and corny. I do know that most of my gifts will come from Etsy though, I like to try to support smaller businesses and handmade gifts are always the best.

Also this week I plan to spend a good amount of my time reading. I had had the goal of reading one book a month this year and I failed miserably BUT I have decided to try it again. I read The Shining last month and I am reading the sequal, Doctor Sleep, this month. I’m also going to be spending more time reading and following new blogs. I want to have a sort of goal like I do with books, only for blogs. Like read a new blog a day, follow at least one new one every week, I don’t know, something like that. I also have to work a lot harder at commenting on other blogs as well. I just get so nervous!

So that’s all I have for this week. All I have to do is stay positive and put one foot in front of the other. I feel like this month nothing could really get me down. Christmas is coming and everything in my life is falling into place. Not that everything is perfect but I have so much to be grateful for and so much to look forward to and my mind is in a pretty good place right now. I hope you all have a great week too, and remember that no matter how stressful things get, it’s all temporary and you will get through it!

If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am feeling so much better now! For the past few weeks I have been either sick with a nasty cold or feeling a bit down and depressed but the cold is gone and Christmas is coming!

Usually I’m not a big fan of the holidays but every year it gets better and better and this year is turning out to be the best one yet! We have a tree up and it’s a damn good looking tree! We are buying gifts for each other and this year we have more money to go around. We are also going to be spending Christmas day at home, just the two of us! It will be perfect.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that today is the last day of NaBloPoMo and I am glad it’s finally over. I wrote about it yesterday and talked about all the things I had learned. I’m going to slow down a bit now that’s it’s over but only because I want my writing to be better. I’m still going to write everyday but I want to take more time thinking and editing now.

If we were having coffee I would also tell you that because of that I have decided to join The Daily Post’s newest Blogging U. course, Writing 201. It looks like they are going to be focusing on blogging on the longform side of things, which I tend to lean towards anyway. If you want to give longform a try I encourage you to check it out.

Lastly, if we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have gone 17 days without a cigarette. I know that doesn’t sound like much but I assure you it has been very, very difficult to make it this far. Everyday it gets a little easier but I still do crave them multiple times a day, I imagine I will for a long while. I want one right now to be honest but I know i can’t have one. I have to think of my health and my girlfriend.

I have an app on my phone that gives me stats based on my quit date and time. I put my date in as November 13th, 2014 at 6:00 AM. Since then I have gone 17 days, 2 hours, 49 minutes, and some seconds without a cigarette. I have NOT smoked 171 cigarettes. I have saved $47.02. And I have saved 17 hours of my time. I’m not sure if that is time not smoking or time my life has been extended but either way it’s good.

I am proud of myself but I try not to brag too much, I feel like I am just doing what I should’ve done a long time ago. This is not the first time I have tried and I can’t help still being disappointed in myself for not being strong enough to quit sooner. I am still at risk for a lot of health problems and I hope that one day I won’t be looking back and hating myself for developing some sort of cancer or other health issue because I started smoking and couldn’t quit.

But enough about that! If we were having coffee I would apologize for talking so much, I do tend to ramble on, especially when I’m talking about myself. I’d then say it was time I heard how you were doing, so please let me know in the comments :)

P.S. Just a quick note before you go, I wanted to remind all of you that I am present on a few other networks across the web too. I have a brand new Facebook page that isn’t much right now but I would still appreciate a few likes if you could. If you’re on Tumblr you should DEFINITELY follow me there, I post a lot. And finally there is Twitter which I am finally getting the hang of and using much more than I used to. Anyway check me out or give some feedback if you have a minute. Thanks!

NaBloPoMo is (Finally) Coming to an End

Whew! NaBloPoMo is coming to an end tomorrow and as much as I enjoyed the experience, I do have to admit, I am glad it’s over. I did learn a lot though, both about writing, and surprisingly, about myself.

First thing I learned was that posting everyday is not for me. I’m not sure if that’s because I am new to writing or because I just like to take my time. I like to think the idea over in my head and write a draft or two before I post. Having a time crunch forced to me post some things that I didn’t feel were ready for the world to see. I do think a lot of that was because I am new to all of this and I wonder if I were a better writer and blogger if maybe my content would not have been better.

Writing everyday felt a bit stressful but I think if I had prepared myself more I might have had an easier time of it, even being as new as I am. I should have written down some ideas ahead of time and maybe even got some outlines done. That way I could’ve written a few posts of with a bit more substance than, say, general updates on my life.

In the past week I have written a long list of post ideas and most will be tending toward the longform side of things, 1000 to 1500 words or more. Because of that I do expect that my posting frequency will drop conciderably. I am hoping for 4 or 5 days a week for now, maybe less, but that does not mean I won’t be writing everyday, just means I will be editing more.

I’ve also learned that inpsiration really is more about where your mind is then it does about where your body is. Within the first week or two of NaBloPoMo I began to think that because my life was boring at the moment that there would be a serious shortage of ideas to writie about. Turns out that isn’t true at all. I know I said my post weren’t as great as I had hoped they would be but I was able to do it everyday. I was able to come up with SOMETHING and I think that is more than a lot of people could do.

What I learned was that just sitting down to type and playing some good music to help you focus could go a long way. Just keep typing about whatever pops into your head and eventually something worth exploring will come to that surface. If you are having a particularly hard time drink some coffee and turn the music up louder. If you stil can’t think of anything, try alcohol. I guarantee the ideas will start flowing then!

I also learned that I prefer to write either early in the morning or late at night. I also learned that I like sitting at a desk more than on the couch or in the bed. The spare bedroom in our house is the best place because there is no TV in there to distract me. And I learned how to type around people who are uncomfortable with your silence and focus and want to talk to you even though they see you are busy. I eventually learned how to get them to leave you alone too.

I learned that my girlfriend is amazing and very supportive of my writing. There were many days when i felt I just wasn’t in the mood and she pushed me and reminded me that I would hate myself in the morning if I didn’t get some kind of writing done. She listened to all my blogging ideas and complaints and never once made me feel stupid or dorky. She even told me she believes I really should be a writer! That meant the world to me.

All in all it was a good thing. In fact, in spite of the stress and difficulty I plan on doing it again next year! It really was fun and I am proud of myself for getting through it. I encourage all bloggers to give it a try. You will learn something about yourself, I promise you that!

Black Friday Ain’t So Bad!

I have never participated in the craziness that is Black Friday before. I love shopping and I love getting a good deal but I hate crowds and chaos and Black Friday looked like nothing but crowds and chaos. Then me and my girlfriend got to thinking, we needed a couple of big ticket and we neede to save some money on those items so we decided to join the masses this year.

Normally we spend the day after Thanksgiving resting and recuperating from the stress leading up to the holiday. This morning we woke up at 5 AM, the same time I would be getting up for work if I had to go in today. We got up and I stumbled to the coffee machine, I knew I would need the caffeine. I didn’t plan on being out long but this was Black Friday and everything I had read about the day told me I needed to be prepared for anything.

Turns out though that it wasn’t horrible or crazy at all. Borning I know but since stores are starting the deals Thanksgiving night there wasn’t much of a mad rush this morning. We started out at Target. One of the big purchases we needed to make was for a new TV and I had heard rumors that Target had them for $200! Our old one is 6 or 7 years old and starting to crap out. We got to Target at about 6:30 AM and we were immediatly told by the associate in electronics that all the best deals had been sold out the night before. He said some had been gon as early as 6 PM! I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated.

So then we decided to see what Best Buy had. We planned on going there anyway because the other big purchase we needed to make was for a new camera. We actually don’t have one at all right now but we are tired of documenting precious memories on our cell phones. We got to Best Buy at about 7:15 and saw there was a line forming outside. Apperently Best Buy had been open until 1 AM Thankgiving night but was not opening early on Black Friday. This makes no sense to me but whatever, we grabbed a sale ad and got in line. They were going to open at 8.

The whole expierience there was a bit confusing. There was a cop pacing outside which made me a bit nervous. Then employees kept walking down the line asking us what items we were there for. Not because they could hold anything for us but because they just wanted to get a count of how many people wanted what items. Then they told us that there was color coded lines and in we were there for TV’s to get in the green line, for computers and laptops get in the yellow line, and for cameras and what-not get in the red line. No one followed the line thing.

The people in line with us seemed to be Black Friday pros and were very anxious to get inside. The chatted away amongst each other about where else they had been and what they hoped to buy. Many of them had even been shopping the night before, some had even been at that very Best Buy!

They kept asking every employee who walked out how many of this TV or that laptop were left. I got more and more irritated as opening time approached. They would find out in just a few minutes what was in stock and what wasn’t! We got in and once again a lot of the deals were sold out already but in the end we did find our TV and our camera and we did get a good deal on both.

Afterwards we decided to do something a bit more fun so we went back to Target and bought a nice new Christmas tree. We usually don’t put one up but this year I’d like for us to start. I just hope our cats don’t go too crazy. We only bought a few ornaments because I imagine they are going to destroy the tree everyday until I can’t take it anymore and take the damn thing down. I plan to keep my reciept, the tree wasn’t cheap.

By the time we were done with all of that we were very hungry and tired so we decided to go eat breakfast and then head home to nap. We ordered matching omelets and white peach mimosas and talked about the ideaof having children one day. The holidays aren’t as fun when you don’t have a little version of yourself to share it all with. But that’s a topic for another post on another day.

Today was about starting a new tradition, a tradtion of spending a little time shopping and the rest just hanging out and setting up the tree….for the cats to play with. Also this tradition includes moderate amounts of tasty alcoholic drinks. I recommend eggnog and a bit of rum!

The Customary List of Things I Am Thankful For

Earlier I wrote about the real history of Thanksgiving and while I do hate this holiday for all the reasons I stated in that post, I can’t help but also think of the other meaning of this holiday. Thanksgiving is also about family and being thankful for everything you have….right before you go fight to the death shopping to get each other more stuff!

Normally the holidays are not a happy time for me. When I was growing up they never went very well. When you grow up in a dysfunctional family the holidays do nothing but amplify that dysfunction and remind you that you will never have a normal home life. In my family the holidays meant my mother slowly getting more and more frustrated throughout the day until my step-father finally pushed her too far and a fight broke out. The fight usually resulted in my step-father leaving to go drink somewhere with friends. My own father wasn’t even around.

As an adult though every year those memories fade a little more and newer, happier memories are made. My family is bigger now and a little less dysfunctional. My girlfriend and I, while we don’t have any kids, still feel like we are own little family and we take time to celebrate a portion of the holidays with only each other. This helps to relieve some stress and it gives us time to enjoy and appreciate each other.

I also have my siblings, who are older now and can have a say about how the holidays are celebrated. We are no longer small children who have to sit by and watch as our parents allow their emotions to get in the way of spending a nice day amongst family. Now we can decide what happens and we can make it good for the members of our family who are going to be shaped by the memories we make with them now.

We aren’t going to be spending Thanksgiving together this year because me and one of my sisters have decided to spend it with our in-laws. This way we can all be together for Christmas. This is how we do it every year and we alternate. Next year both of us will spend Thanksgiving with our own family and Christmas with our in-laws.

I will be missing them this year and when I think about what I am thankful for, family is at the top of the list! I know I talk a lot about how dysfunctional and crazy they are I do love so, so much. We have all been through so much and we have survived and we are all stronger and better for it. There really are now words for the pride I feel in the way my family has continually made it through hardship after hardship and still comes out with nothing but love and forgiveness for each other. They are nothing short of amazing.

After that I am thankful for my amazing girlfriend. She my best friend, the love of my life, and the center of my whole universe. If it weren’t for her I’m not sure I would be here. She saved me in more ways than one and she continues to save me everyday. She has loved me at my worst and when I least deserved it. This past year with her has been amazing and I only see us getting better and better. I am thankful I have her in my life and I am thankful she loves me back.

Of course I am also thankful for everything I have in life. I am thankful for the job I have, it pays well and it makes me feel like I am doing a tiny bit of good in the world. I am thankful for the roof over my head, I am also thankful that it is my roof. I am thankful for the food in my fridge. I am thankful I make enough money to be able to not only have all that food but to be able to make heathy food choices that cost a bit more.

And finally I am thankful for everything I have had the opportunity to learn and do this year. I am thankful that I was able to start this blog and learn so much about writing that I never knew. Now I have a place to express myself and also read the expressions of others. I am thankful that I was able to learn and re-learn so much of the math I forgot or was never taught. I know now that I am smart and that I can do things I set out to do.

I am thankful I have so much to look forward to in the future. I am thankful that I have so much to be thankful for! It has been a good year and I expect that it will end very happily in a month or so. I am thankful for that too.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you have plenty to be thankful for. And if you are participating in the national past time that is “Black Friday” I wish you the best of luck in that too!

The Real Thanksgiving Isn’t So Happy

Thanksgiving to me has always felt like one of the most, excuse my language, bullshit holidays there ever was, right up behind Columbus day.

Every year I watch as my family and fellow Americans conveniently forget that there was a whole race of people who didn’t benefit from the colonization of the Americas. We like to tell ourselves that this holiday is about pilgrims and Native Americans coming together to share food and be besties and how that was some sort of beginning to a “happily ever after” I believe we ALL know that is a whole lot of bullshit and lies.

Thanksgiving:
A day that epitomizes how wonderful it is to be a gluttonous, fat, lazy American. A day to sit on stolen land eating food we may have never discovered and watch a sport that was copied from the very shores our ancestors so readily fled. Also conveniently situated on a Thursday, meaning most people end up with a 4-day weekend.

– Urban Dictionary definition for Thanksgiving

As little kids the myth of Columbus and the pilgrims and the Native Americans all sitting down to have a nice meal and give thanks to each other is drilled into us repeatedly. As are a lot of myths and lies about history. The truth is this holiday is about the celebration of the safe return of (white) men who went to fight Native Americans. That battle resulted in the killing and enslavement of over 700 men, women, and children! Think about that when you carve into that turkey this evening.

“A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children.” It was signed into law that, “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots.”

The Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop, in 1937 after the killing of the Pequot tribe in Mystic Connecticut

For me, at best this holiday is about the white washing of history and the continued denial of the wrongs done to a whole race of people. At worst this holiday is a celebration of the European invasion which resulted in Native Americans having their lives, their land, and their culture stolen from them. I find it offensive and distasteful and I am ashamed that the whole country just that the genocide of millions of it’s native people’s never happened.

But please do not misunderstand me, I don’t want to get rid of Thanksgiving. What I want to do is change the way we celebrate it. Most people don’t know this but today is also celebrated as a National Day of Mourning. For the past 45 years, Native American and supporters have gathered in Plymouth to honor those who died and raise awareness to the problems still face by Native Americans today.

I propose we all do away with the myths of the past and instead make Thanksgiving about remembering and honoring the people who were here before us. I think we should use this day to remember that America’s history is violent, and bloody, and cruel but it is the true history and we dishonor a whole race of people, who have already been, and continue to be, victimized and devastated when we forget that. When we willfully and quite happily erase their pain and perpetuate myths.

So today, spend time with your family, eat a delicious meal, and remember that there were people who lived on this land before you. Remember that they were murdered and enslaved and forgotten. Remember that their descendants are alive and have to live knowing what they know about the true events of history and knowing they will never have their ancestors land back. Remember them today.

Thanksgiving:
The day white people celebrate being thankful for the land stolen from NATIVE Americans. A day soon to be stolen from everyone by Walmart.
Let us Native Americans be thankful for the white mans food stamps; so we can eat on this day of thanksgiving. Let us also remember the land that we once fed our families from.

– Urban Dictionary definition for Thanksgiving