Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shell Confusion

How do you know for sure if you are doing what you are meant to be doing and if you are in the place you are meant to be? For the longest time I wanted to be a part of Shell because I thought it offered me a lot of career opportunities and good benefits. I was sure that I would have no problems fitting in because I know I am not stupid. Yes, it's a different industry but I was confident I would get the hang of it after a while. Two months down the road and I still often feel like I am swimming in a foreign ocean, required to use strokes I'd never heard of nor seen before, let alone know!

I don't know what to do with all my confusion.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Plans for 2010

I've gone through a lot of changes since mid-year. Ironically, a little over a month after I turned 30. I remember creating a post a month before my birthday listing down my goals for the next decade of my life and I've already commented on how accurately the Universe followed my list- although not in the easiest, happiest way. I am alive and kicking though and still looking forward to this decade. In many ways, now more so than ever before, it feels like a new start. So I was thinking of listing down things again. Goals, desires, plans- however you want to call it. At least for 2010 first. Affie also made me think had about this, since it seems she already has her goals for next year set. So what will go into this list? Hmmmm...

1. More financial stability- I need to get regularized, then I need to perform so that before my 1st year I can look at trying to jump to the next job group. Of course, this means I have to learn a bajillion things in less than 12 months- so much so that I will have a complete set of competencies under my belt for the move upwards. I see this as a tough task since I've come to discover the company I've been targeting joining in, like, forever, is pretty boring. For people who know me well enough, alarm bells should be going off since I don't do boring very well. But I am thinking, you can't get everything you want all the time. So I am determined to make lemonade out of these lemons. In fairness, they are pretty good quality lemons so the lemonade should taste fantastic, regardless of the creativity in making it so. So there.

2. Practical but important things to schedule and accomplish- 1. school of Tyler- I need to decide whether to put him in in January or start the school year fresh in June. January pros would be that he is back in an environment he likes (schooling) which might further help him adjust to our new life, he would get a full quarter of learning to help prepare him for big boy school when he turns 6 (which is in 2 years! boohoo! my baby boy- this is for another post). January cons would be EXPENSIVE!!! But I am hoping to iron this out with their dad. 2. doctor's vaccinations- Tyler is late for one vaccine and a booster, and Skye hasn't gotten her MMR. I've been vacillating about this because of fear over the alleged links of vaccines to latent autism. But when she broke out mid-year in what looked like a measles rash, I panicked. So I think I am going to get it done. She'll be 2.2 years by then and her brother is OK and got it before his 18th month so I am hoping... 3. transportation set-up- I don't know if this means I have to seriously look into getting a car. I also don't know how this is feasible since I don't think I can afford one anytime soon. I just know that I need one, mainly for the kids, since I can survive well enough commuting. 4. Good, stable, dependable yaya's- I have one already. I am hoping that I get an all around/yaya who is as good if not better and who won't cost me an arm and a leg.

3. More love of self- I think I've forgotten how to really and truly love myself. I can almost feel eyebrows rising to the high heavens. Yes, really. I mean, I know I can be all about myself at times- when talking over coffee, in reacting to certain situations, etc. I mean, look at the name of my blog, for Pete's sake! But that's not really what I am referring to here. I hope I am able to articulate this well. I am talking about the loving what's deep inside so well that it just feeds into everything about you- this needs re-learning. I don't think I've fed my soul anytime lately- read a really good book that made me think about things and decide about my own life plan; seen a fantastic movie that made me remember and cry and process and laugh; watched a play or concert, gone to the spa, and so on and so forth- just done things that make me feel good so much that this just gets absorbed into my pores and is translated to the world. When I was in college, I walked around with the supreme confidence that I was the best I could be in so many ways and that who wouldn't want to get to know me because of that. It sounds arrogant, I know. But I am not saying I felt like I was the prettiest, sexiest, smartest woman around. Just that for me, myself, I was fabulous. And I want to get that back. That confidence that required no one's input to keep the tank full. ME.

4. Someone to watch over me- hehehehe. I thought the song would be the most fitting line for this point. After all the "me" loving comes the person who will love, adore, worship me. Hahahahaha! I am officially claiming this. 2010 is the year. Before my birthday, preferably. And when he finally finds me, it will be grand!

I think these are 4 important goals, desires, plans for 2010. And I am hoping the Universe is as dependable in 2010 as it was this year. Note to Universe though, please make it happy this time. I think I could use a leg up.

Friday, December 11, 2009

15 again

I recently discovered how I like a lot of the Taylor Swift songs coming out lately. There's a new one that just hit me with nostalgia, it was unbelievable.


You take a deep breath
And you walk through the doors
It's the mornin of your very first day
You say hi to your friends you ain't seen in a while
And try to stay out of everybody's way

It's your freshman year
And you're gonna be here for the next 4 years
In this town
Hopin' one of those Senior boys
Will wink at you and say 'I haven't seen you around before'

Cuz when you're fifteen, somebody tells you they love you
You're gonna believe them
And when you're fifteen
Feelin' like there's nothin to figure out
Count to ten
Take it in
This is life before you know who you're gonna be

You sit in class next to red-head Abigail
And soon enough you're best friends
Laughi'n at the other girls
Who they think they're so cool
We'll be out of here as soon as we can

And then you're on your very first date
And he's got a car
And you're feelin like flyin
And you're momma's waitin up
And you're thinkin he's the one
And you're dancin around the room when the night ends
When the night ends

Cuz when you're fifteen, somebody tells you they love you
You're gonna believe them
And when you're fifteen
And your first kiss makes your head spin around
But in your life you'll do things
Greater than datin the boy on the football team
---> yes.
But I didn't know it at fifteen

When all you wanted
Was to be wanted
Wish you could go back
And tell yourself what you know now
---> hell, yeah.

Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday
But I realized some bigger dreams in life
And Abigail gave everything she had
To a boy who changed his mind
And we both cried

Cuz when you're fifteen, somebody tells you they love you
You're gonna believe them
And when you're fifteen
Don't forget to look before you fall
I've found time can heal most anything
And you just might know who you're supposed to be
I didn't know who I was supposed to be
at fifteen
---> is it ok to say I still don't know, 15 years later?

La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la la...

You're very first day
Take a deep breath girl
And take a deep breath as you walk through the doors

wow. It was a nostalgia so deep I almost wanted to cry. How I would change a lot if I could only turn back time. But I know I can't, and I know (cliche as it may sound) that a lot of what I know now is because of the 15 years after 15.
Funny, my dad told me when I was 15 that he didn't want me to start "dating" too early because, when the right time to date would come around I would be tired or in a hurry or at a stage beyond where everyone else was. He was right but, of course, I didn't listen. I hope I'll have better luck getting my kids to understand this when I tell them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Clinical Depression?

Something Affie said a few days ago stuck. She said you can be depressed without knowing it, or even show obvious signs of it. This got me thinking. I've been in this rut lately. But it seems, upon reflection, that this rut has been happening pretty frequently. I decided to do some research on depression and this is what I found:

Signs and symptoms of depression
Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that you’re dealing with depression. When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that's when it's time to seek help.

Common signs and symptoms of depression:
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation. -- hmm, not really.
Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure. --some but not all mentioned here.
Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month. --ok, weight loss. But this is a good thing. Really.
Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia). --yes
Irritability or restlessness. Feeling agitated, restless, or on edge. Your tolerance level is low; everything and everyone gets on your nerves. --yes, yes
Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete. --yes, yes, yes
Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes. --ok, I've been like this since high school, ask my best friend, so I don't think this counts.
Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things. --yup
Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain. - definitely

Types of depression:

Major depression
Major depression is characterized by the inability to enjoy life and experience pleasure. The symptoms are constant, ranging from moderate to severe. Left untreated, major depression typically lasts for about six months. Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but more commonly, major depression is a recurring disorder. However, there are many things you can do to support your mood and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Atypical Depression
Atypical depression is a common subtype of major depression. It features a specific symptom pattern, including a temporary mood lift in response to positive events. You may feel better after receiving good news or while out with friends. However, this boost in mood is fleeting. Other symptoms of atypical depression include weight gain, increased appetite, sleeping excessively, a heavy feeling in the arms and legs, and sensitivity to rejection. Atypical depression responds better to some therapies and medications than others, so identifying this subtype can be particularly helpful. (this sounds more like what I've been going through)

Dysthymia (recurrent, mild depression)
Dysthmia is a type of chronic “low-grade” depression. More days than not, you feel mildly or moderately depressed, although you may have brief periods of normal mood. The symptoms of dysthymia are not as strong as the symptoms of major depression, but they last a long time (at least two years). These chronic symptoms make it very difficult to live life to the fullest or to remember better times. Some people also experience major depressive episodes on top of dysthymia, a condition known as “double depression.” If you suffer from dysthymia, you may feel like you’ve always been depressed. Or you may think that your continuous low mood is “just the way you are.” However, dysthymia can be treated, even if your symptoms have gone unrecognized or untreated for years.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
There’s a reason why so many movies and books portray rainy days and stormy weather as gloomy. Some people get depressed in the fall or winter, when overcast days are frequent and sunlight is limited. This type of depression is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Seasonal affective disorder is more common in northern climates and in younger people. Like depression, seasonal affective disorder is treatable. Light therapy, a treatment that involves exposure to bright artificial light, often helps relieve symptoms.

Some causes of depression. The list was long so I only included what I thought was applicable:

Role strain - Women often suffer from role strain over conflicting and overwhelming responsibilities in their life. The more roles a woman is expected to play (mother, wife, working woman), the more vulnerable she is to role strain and subsequent stress and depression. Depression is more common in women who receive little help with housework and child care. Single mothers are particularly at risk. Research indicates that single mothers are three times more likely than married mothers to experience an episode of major depression.

Relationship dissatisfaction - While rates of depression are lower for the married than for the single and divorced, the benefits of marriage and its general contribution to well-being are greater for men than for women. Furthermore, the benefits disappear entirely for women whose marital satisfaction is low. Lack of intimacy and marital strife are linked to depression in women.

Coping mechanisms - Women are more likely to ruminate when they are depressed. This includes crying to relieve emotional tension, trying to figure out why you’re depressed, and talking to your friends about your depression. However, rumination has been found to maintain depression and even make it worse. Men, on the other hand, tend to distract themselves when they are depressed. Unlike rumination, distraction can reduce depression.

Stress response - According to Psychology Today, women are more likely than men to develop depression under lower levels of stress. Furthermore, the female physiological response to stress is different. Women produce more stress hormones than men do, and the female sex hormone progesterone prevents the stress hormone system from turning itself off as it does in men.


Ask for help and support
If even the thought of tackling your depression seems overwhelming, don’t panic. Feeling helpless and hopeless is a symptom of depression—not the reality of your situation. It does not mean that you’re weak or you can’t change! The key to depression recovery is to start small and ask for help. Having a strong support system in place will speed your recovery. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to others, even when you feel like being alone. Let your family and friends know what you’re going through and how they can support you.

Make healthy lifestyle changes
Lifestyle changes are not always easy to make, but they can have a big impact on depression. Take a good look at your own lifestyle. What changes could you make to support depression recovery? Self-help strategies that can be very effective include:
Cultivating supportive relationships
Getting regular exercise and sleep
Eating a healthy, mood-boosting diet
Managing stress
Practicing relaxation techniques
Challenging negative thought patterns

Learn social and emotional skills
Many people lack the skills needed to overcome stress and make satisfying connections to others and these limitations may contribute to depression. This is a skill set that can be learned.

Seek professional help
If positive lifestyle changes and support from family and friends aren’t enough, seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including therapy, medication, and alternative treatments. Learning about your options will help you decide what measures are most likely to work best for your particular situation and needs.

Are antidepressants right for you?
Medication can help relieve the symptoms of depression in some people, but they aren’t a cure and they come with drawbacks of their own. Learning the facts about antidepressants and weighing the benefits against the risks can help you make an informed and personal decision about whether medication is right for you.

Effective treatment for depression often includes some form of therapy. Therapy gives you tools to treat depression from a variety of angles. What’s more, what you learn in therapy gives you skills and insight to prevent depression from coming back. Some types of therapy teach you practical techniques on how to reframe negative thinking and employ behavioral skills in combating depression. Therapy can also help you work through the root of your depression, helping you understand why you feel a certain way, what your triggers are for depression, and what you can do to stay healthy.

After all this research I am thinking that maybe I am depressed. I don't like the idea of taking meds or paying to see a shrink though. Both are too time consuming and expensive. So I am going to try the tips highlighted in light green and see if they do me any good.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I've been feeling really down more often these days. I don't know how to change it. It seems I feel more depressed than not. Like this is becoming a new normal and those moments when I am ok are the spikes. And the more I try to get out of it, the deeper I seem to sink. I feel like doing something and not moving at the same time. I want to start a new hobby but I feel held back by lack of finances. I feel unhappy but I am also happy. I need to talk to friends but a lot are unavailable. This annoys me to death but I understand that the world does not revolve around me. I also feel like I don't want to talk or see anyone. Like I just want to stay in my room, lie down, and not move. I don't know what to do. I feel like crying.


Months ago, I was looking for a song to fit my life situation. I do this often. Look for songs to fit whatever is happening to me at the moment. I assume it's a normal thing and I haven't really bothered to ask anyone if they do this as well. Anyway, I just heard the perfect song on the radio, on my way to work, today. I know it's late and it may not fit things exactly anymore but I thought I would post it anyway.

CRY - Kelly Clarkson

If anyone asks, I'll tell them we both just moved on
When people all stare I'll pretend that I don't hear them talk
Whenever I see you, I'll swallow my pride and bite my tongue
Pretend I'm okay with it all
Act like there's nothing wrong

Is it over yet?
Can I open my eyes?
Is this as hard as it gets?
Is this what it feels like to really cry?

If anyone asks, I'll tell them we just grew apart
Yeah what do I care If they believe me or not
Whenever I feel
Your memory is breaking my heart
I'll pretend I'm okay with it all
Act like there's nothing wrong

Is it over yet?
Can I open my eyes?
Is this as hard as it gets?
Is this what it feels like to really cry?

I'm talking in circles
I'm lying, they know it
Why won't this just all go away

Is it over yet?
Can I open my eyes?
Is this as hard as it gets?
Is this what it feels like to really cry?

It's amazing how some songs can so perfectly talk about what and how you are feeling about things. Reading through these lyrics I am struck with a certain sense of sadness at how I felt and a certain amount of fear. I am trying not to think about how easily this can happen to me again. If I open myself up to new things I am also opening myself up to possible pain again. Am I really ready for that? I don't want to live life afraid. But maybe the fear barriers is a smarter way to go. Heaven knows plunging head first into things has just given me migraines. Ah, confusion again.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The 'Art' of Letting Go

I always knew I didn't like sports. The idea of chasing, hitting, or doing anything sporty with a ball was just too much for me. I, to this day, shudder at the thought of engaging in a real sport. Needless to say, my hobbies when I was younger were all 'artsy'. I studied drawing, painting, and music. I read a lot and wrote a lot of girly poems and short stories. I still love all these things today.

But I never did learn or understand the 'art' of letting go.

I am just someone who is not very good with not getting her way. Ok, sounds bratty, I know, but it's true. Up until perhaps the last 4 years of my life, I got almost everything I set my mind on. So you can imagine how the advice to let go, leave things, experience more than do necessarily, is driving me nuts. But I'm trying it out and I've found some interesting ways to relax.

One way is to focus on things that make me happy that don't require too much action'reaction from outside parties. I'm now thinking of creating a spa schedule, really thinking of a way to lose more weight, and a fixed set of activities with the kids. On a more 'concrete' note, I am trying to work out how to buy my own car and improve my computer situation at home. I am finding that, at least half the time now, my mind is focused on all those things and I feel less anxious about things I have no control over. I think this might actually work. I am feeling positive. What are other ways to de-focus? Suggestions?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

List for Santa

Dear Santa,

These are what I would like to receive this Christmas:

1. My kids's constant health and happiness.
2. What I pray for constantly.
3. Exciting job growth.
4. Money.
5. Car.

I've been good this year. Well, I tried. I did the best I could. Do you think you could give these to me?

Thanks ever so much,