Homegrown Texan

Born and raised in Texas, I've found the home of my heart and soul in the Pacific Northwest. I love trees, cool weather, and rain. I'm a back to basics kind of gal just trying to raise my family and find a bit of time to slow down in this hectic life.

Lots of things have happened since I last posted.  My life has turned upside down in so many ways.  Mostly good, all good, I guess.  Some a bit difficult, but in a way I welcome that.  If it were easy, it probably wouldn't be all that much worth having.  I'd rather have beautiful, wonderful things that bring meaning to my life, even if it means some amount of pain or difficulty to get there.

I finally achieved my dream of moving to the Pacific Northwest!  Eugene, OR to be exact.  Which is pretty fucking awesome, because that's *exactly* where I had decided I wanted to be.  It wasn't easy, and I'm still not all the way here (meaning my husband and kids are still back in Phoenix getting the house ready...boooo).  I'm living in a small apartment with whatever I could drive up in my small Corolla.  Enjoying work, which is a damn good feeling, since I spent the last two years of my career in a professional coma.  I hated that, hated how lousy it made me feel about myself, my work ethic, my integrity, my value.  All of it.  So. damn. glad. to be done with that.  I loved working at home, but now I love being in an office again.  You know, with real coworkers to interact with.  Of course it helps that I don't have anywhere near the kind of commute I would have had in Phoenix.  I detest wasting time in an idling car, detest it even more when it's hot outside, so I think I would have been a lot less excited about it back there.

I'm also making some awesome friends, much moreso than I would have ever expected.  Which is really cool, because it just supports this feeling, this "knowing" I'm carrying around with me that this is where my soul belongs.  I think I wandered around here in a daze for about the first 2 weeks, waiting for the vacation to end and to have to go back home.  Now it has finally clicked that this *is* home.  I was worried I wouldn't feel that way about it because I moved here not knowing hardly anyone.  But it really does feel that way.  I can't imagine going anywhere else, and I hope to god I never have to.  Not going to dwell on that, though...I'm a worrier by nature as it is and do not need to torture myself by finding things to worry about.  Right now I'm just living in the moment.  I don't mean that in a frivolous way.  But one thing I've learned is that I used to spend so much time worrying about what was going to happen in the future, or missing what was already in the past, that I forgot to enjoy the present.  WTF?  That makes no sense, whatsoever.

Anyway, now I finally feel that my spirit can relax and start to grow again.  I've been thinking lately about "meaning of life" type stuff...finding my purpose and all that.  I don't believe in predestination and I don't believe what I'm supposed to be doing fits in some nice, neat box.  But I need to give some attention to that.  It's something I've been neglecting because I've been so beaten down with work stress and depression.  Now I'm finally feeling like I have the spiritual capacity to be able to focus on that.  I need to draw from the beautiful nature around me and get that power from it that I know I can.  I moved here to feed my spirit and my soul.  And I can't wait to do it.

I know I said I'd make "thankfulness" posts.  Then I went to Canada.  It was a trip that I thoroughly enjoyed and needed, and that I am truly very thankful for.  As always, I felt like Dawn, Henry & Matt were my family (even moreso than some of my real family).  And, as always, I didn't want it to end.  However, strangely, it didn't hit me as hard as it usually does.  I think because I know we'll see each other regularly.  Our friendship is just too strong for anything else.

What I wasn't prepared for was how depression would slam into me when I got back.  And it isn't just the "my vacation is over and now I have to face the yucky real world" post-vacation blues that I usually get.  This is full out, I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself depression.  I *need* to find a job.  And I have no idea if I can.  During a good moment I feel like it's a numbers game...like I have to go through some magic number of grueling job applications and even more grueling job interviews (engineering interviews last a minimum of 4 hours...most of them last all day) just to win the numbers.  It sort of feels like being told you have to support your family by winning the lottery, so I just keep buying tickets and hope I get the right one before I run out of ticket money (where "ticket money" is both mental & emotional energy, as well as actual money, which I'm running out of).  That's on a good day.  On a bad day like today it feels like God (if I believed in God) is an abusive stepparent, and me finding a job is like me asking to go out with my friends to the movies.  My stepparent makes me go through all the motions of doing all of the chores, getting perfect grades, behaving perfectly, and then maybe, just *maybe* if stepparent hasn't been drinking or hasn't had a bad day, he'll let me go out.

Or...maybe he won't.  The point being that I feel like even my best may not be enough.  And I have no way of knowing.  I'm just supposed to keep doing it.

I am thankful for my youngest son.  For one, his health, as he was born premature and not so healthy.  However, asside from his small size, you wouldn't know it now.  But I also love what a joyous spirit he has, and how amusingly literal he can be.  And I love how sometimes very complex-beyond-his-years thoughts sometimes tumble out of his mouth, and then he goes back to being his usual silly, goofy self.  I love my little son with all my heart.

I am thankful for my husband, who stands behind my decisions and is *always* ok with me taking some time to myself. I know I deserve the time, but he supports me much more than I ever hoped for.  And with the stress that we are going through with my work (or lack thereof), I'm particularly thankful that we've managed to come together on it, rather than let it wedge us apart.  I'm still scared shitless, but at least I'm not facing my fear alone.

Many of my facebook friends are writing daily statements of gratitude on facebook.  I prefer to take a more anonymous face (even though some people I know personally read this blog, it still overall feels more anonymous), plus sometimes I'd like to write more than I would on a facebook status update.  I've been feeling in a funk lately...worried about my job situation, depressed about being stuck in Arizona, and missing my family.  While I feel like I'm justified in having these feelings, I also know that the negative thoughts are becoming too prevalent, and that is not healthy.  Not only that, I am one who believes that negativity, even just in thought, can actually work against a person.  I sometimes have trouble shutting off my thoughts and feelings, but I think replacing them will work better than simply trying to remove them.

So my goal is to write something I'm thankful about every day, starting with today up until and including Thanksgiving day.

I am thankful for my oldest son's sweet soul.  Sometimes it causes him pain, because he tries so hard to do nice things for people, but he doesn't yet understand the art of taking into consideration what other people actually want.  Case in point: today he got up and made pancakes for the family.  Since the kids are out of school, my husband and I wanted to sleep in.  My younger son doesn't really care that much for pancakes, plus he wanted to use his newfound cooking skills to make himself a bowl of oatmeal.  And I was up nearly-but-not-quite puking half the night, so I just wasn't up for food yet (I may venture out and have a cup of herbal tea in a bit).  So pancake-boy's feelings were hurt.  I feel bad for him and hope that he doesn't learn to just shut that part of himself off.  I really don't think he will...it's an integral part of him that has shown itself from a very young age.  People tell me all the time how it shows what great parents he has and while my ego would like to agree, if I am honest with myself I know that this is really just who he is.  Yes, we can (and try to) do our part to nurture it, but this really is just part of the beautiful person that my son is.  And it's one of the many things I love him for.

I'd really like to rip my female parts out right now, since they feel like that's what's being done to them, anyway.

*puts "hysterectomy" at the top of her Christmas wish list*

Do you ever find yourself going down a particular track in life, and suddenly wake up and wonder what the hell it is you're doing?

I just had that happen to me. You see, twice within 2 weeks I had 2 separate friends (who don't know each other) approach me with a business opportunity. They were different opportunities (one is specifically travel related, the other is retail product related), but both are essentially MLMs (one claims not to be, and maybe by some technicality they are not, but the idea is very similar).

Now I don't think either of these are scams. I think they have some good products to offer and I do think the structures are set up such that the potential for making some money with them is there. Especially if you are not looking at it as a "get rich quick" scheme (which I'm not, and they weren't claiming to be). However, for me, there are a couple of problems:

1) I wouldn't use a lot of the products that are offered. The travel one offers some really cool vacations at awesome prices, and while I'd love to participate, traveling with children in school and while trying to hold down a full-time job is not the easiest thing. Plus, I'm pretty sure none of the packages include the travel itself, which for a family of 4, is often enough to prohibit an entire vacation, even if it were free.

The retail opportunity had some good products, but I personally wouldn't use most of them. As an example, they have a great laundry detergent, eco-friendly, for a great price. But I use soap nuts. They have cleaners, but I use baking soda & vinegar. You see what I mean? Hair care products, cosmetics, pet products, the list goes on and on, but I think I may just be too frugal to be a salesperson. And I can't even begin to try to sell things that I don't really use. Which brings me to the second problem.

2) I am not a sales person. When I was in 2nd grade, I had to sell tickets to a pancake supper we were doing for a fundraiser. I was sure people would buy tickets from me, because it was cheap, no one wants to say no to a kid, and who doesn't like pancakes? So off I went (still a little nervous) to our nextdoor neighbor, timidly knocked on the door, and asked if they would like to buy tickets. They told me no, because they were going to be out of town that weekend. I ran home and that was the end of pancake supper ticket sales. I sold some girl scout cookies a few years later, but those pretty much sell themselves, and even then, I hated every minute of it.

So today, I'm going to call the people I've been talking to and let them know I won't be pursuing this opportunity. One won't be so bad; they just brought me to a meeting they were going to anyway, and stressed that it was fine if I didn't want to do it. The other friend I feel bad about because I've actually spent a fair amount of time meeting with him and his business associate. I feel like I've wasted their time and I feel bad about it. But, it will only get worse if I don't put a stop to it. I'd love to have another income, but this will not be it.