Wanted: Experienced Shepherd (Night Shift)

It was a dark and stormy n………

Oh sorry, I dosed off.  You see I haven’t been getting my required seven or six or even five hours a night.

Last night I woke up after about an hour of sleep and I couldn’t fall back asleep.  I didn’t want to get up so I began my maddening late night rituals in hope of sleep.

First, I flipped around every which way, feeling that if I found the right position I would drift back to the Land of Nod. I did this until my head was literally at the bottom of the bed.  I did find a quarter and a lost sock but I didn’t find rest.

The second thing I did was to mentally run through all the possible reasons my sleep was disrupted.

  • Caffeine.  I drank the last of college girl’s Diet Dr. Pepper last week.  I’m off the hard stuff until she returns.
  • Spicy food.  Husband is out-of-town so a peanut butter and banana sandwich was last night’s gourmet dinner of choice.
  • Alcohol.  It may help you sleep or it may keep you up.  I’ve heard both theories, so I never know, but I went to bed quite sober.
  • Disturbing television shows.  This is occasionally the case because I love a good scare as long as it doesn’t involve eviscerated humans, but not last night. Since hubby is out-of-town the TV was off and I read a non-disturbing book before bed.
  • Exercise.  My shiny new elliptical spent yesterday all alone in the dark basement.
  • Symphony of snores.  No hubby, no snoring.

The third thing I did was to swear I would  develop a routine.  I dream (if I sleep) about a routined life.  I vowed to start getting in bed at the same time every night.  Currently I may go to bed anytime from 11pm to 3am.  I’m a night owl who struggles to keep regular hours.  I can keep up a routine for a while and then hubby leaves town and I fall back into my vampirish behavior.

I’ve thought about adding the counting of sheep to my sleep routine.  I’ve heard of this all my life but frankly, I know of no one that actually uses this sleep-inducing process.  I’m sure this odd ovine-related tactic started with those old-time shepherds watching over their flocks, but really, shouldn’t they stay awake?  A lot of sheep predators are nocturnal.

Maybe I could include a warm beverage into my nighttime ritual, except, warm milk sounds gross to me.  So does cold milk.  Hot, decaffeinated tea is a better choice.  I could make a second cup for the Sandman.

As a related side-note, the Sandman has always disturbed me.  As a child, I couldn’t believe my parents were going to let a strange man in my bedroom at night to put sand in my eyes.  Where did that get started?  When I think of restful sleep, it never involves tiny, gritty specks of dirt in my eyes.

See, I’ve already lost my train of thought on developing a routine.  A short attention span accompanies my sleep deprivation.

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...I’m open to any advice here. I’m accustom to the quiet of an empty-nest, so that’s not the problem.   And no, I’m not worried about things like the world ending in 2012.  I have no major deadlines coming up.  Sadly, I lead a somewhat mundane life.  The most excitement I had this week was seeing that “The Artist” is showing at a movie theater within sixty miles of where I live.  Trust me, I never expected the chance to see it on the big screen after my big “The Descendants” disappointment.

 Am I rambling again?

It was a dark and stormy n…………..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Liebster Award vs. the Gremlin

In blogging, I have connected with some people who have changed my life in exciting new ways.  The fact that one of these people choose to give me an award is  exciting.  Thank you Hanna. Thank you, thank you, thank you.   Hanna’s blog Goss Coaching is a jewel.  She is an inspirational coach who shares thought-provoking ideas everyday, and I can’t think of a better way to start out my day.  One of my favorites of her post has to do with gremlins. She defines a gremlin as that inner critic we all have.   And yes, a Liebster Award sure helps in the battle against  my self-doubt gremlin.

English: "Stripe" Gremlin figure, le...

This is a visual of my inner gremlin


But back to the honor of the Liebster Blog Award.

The Liebster Blog award is given to  blogs that have less than 200 followers and deserve more recognition and encouragement.  Deserve, hopefully, but I certainly appreciate more recognition and encouragement.  As for less than 200 followers, I definitely fit this requirement.

The Rules

Here are some guidelines in giving or receiving the award:

  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  3. Copy & Paste the award to your blog.
  4. Nominate 5 blogs to receive the award.
  5. Inform them of their nomination by leaving a comment on their blog.

I believe I have filled all the requirements except for making my nominations.  This is tricky because I have no idea how many followers these blogs I am about to mention have.  I just happen to love all five of these blogs and I want to share them.

The first two blogs are, not only funny, but frequent.  I struggle to get out a blog a week sometimes and these two ladies tickle me a few times a week. Both of you may  have well over two hundred followers.  I don’t know how to gauge this but I want people to read your blogs anyway so forgive me if this is awarded in error.

The first blog I would like to honor is http://notquiteold.wordpress.com/.  Nancy tells hilarious stories with great sketches so you can visualize the scenes.  My favorite of her post  is ‘Snow White and the Smelly Dwarfs’.  What an imagination.

And speaking of imaginations, I would love to hang out in the mind of http://whatimeant2say.wordpress.com/.  She can turn anything into a funny post.  I feel like I know her family and her random nonhuman visitors she describes in her blog.  You need to read her blog if only to get to know Wonderbutt.  That’s all I’ll say but when you visit, make sure and look at her page where she names all the characters in her blog.  I promise you won’t be sorry.

The next two blogs I follow speak personally to me.

Rose at http://pertnearperfect2.wordpress.com/ had a picture of a parade in her small town and I knew I could relate to this lady.  I love her recipes and cooking tips.  Her photographs are lovely.

The next blog I want to talk about is 146.7.  The battle of gaining and losing weight is one I know.   Check out http://146point7.wordpress.com/about/.  I love the idea that this young lady is willing to include us in her struggle.  She is honest and relatable.

The last blog I’m including is http://susserativeaspirations.wordpress.com/about/.  I challenge you to read Erik’s ‘About’ page and not give him a longer look.  He always shares great music and that’s a plus in my book.  I knew I would like his blog when I saw a quote from Lynne McTaggart.  I just this day ordered her book “The Field”.  Hope to get to know you better over the months, Erik.

Thanks again Hanna.  I look forward to your next post.

Jury Duty- The Empty Nester’s Exemption

Seriously District Court.  You must be kidding.  My birdies are home for a few more days and you want me to appear in court.  These were my thoughts when I got my Jury Summons.
I quickly flipped the card over and zoomed in on the exemptions. I scrutinized each possibility for my exit strategy.

  1. I’m not over 70 but if the ‘Time Thief’ I talked about in my last post doesn’t slow down, I will be before I know it.
  2. I wouldn’t be an empty nester if I still had a child under 12.  I lost this exemption when the form wasn’t altered to say 12 instead of 15.  They must have bulk ordered the forms.
  3. It’s been a long time since I was a high school student, although, when my children were in high school I think I was at the school more than  many of their less ambitious classmates.  I was a  ‘helpful’ parent.  ‘Helpful’ parent  sounds so much nicer than ‘helicopter’ parent.
  4. I was attending college last semester.  It was a Continuing Education class that met one night a week and I didn’t get a grade. Not exactly what the court system had in mind with this exemption but I gave it some thought.  I could quickly enroll in another class. That felt like cheating and a little extreme.  Alas, my overactive conscious (I curse that right-minded Cricket of childhood)  kept me from calling the local Junior College.

    Jiminy Cricket

    Image via Wikipedia

  5. I don’t work for the legislative branch of the government.  No exemption there.  If I worked for the government there would be an exemption for empty nesters with children home for the holidays.
  6. I’m not a primary caretaker for an invalid although I am a caretaker for people who, at times, act like invalids.  I’m a little bitter about taking out the trash even when I have able-body children home.
  7. I’m not in the military but I raised three teenagers so I’m familiar with domestic battle zones. Have you heard of the Smith family trash wars?

Where was the exemption for empty nesters?  I expected to read, ‘You may be excused from jury service if you are suffering from temporary NENS or Non-Empty Nest Syndrome.  It wasn’t there.

The following Monday I reported for jury duty.  For three hours I sat on the front row feeling sorry for myself.  I knew I would get chosen.  I’ve been summoned, without a valid exemption, five times and I have served four times.  The one time I didn’t serve, I was number 222 so the odds were good they wouldn’t pick  me.  They need twelve jurors and the two lawyers only get ten strikes each. On this  Monday I was one of the first twelve when they seated us  numerically.

When the lawyers were ready to announce their selections, I picked up my book.  I read little of my book during my hours at court because I was thinking about the time I was going to miss from my children while I served on the jury. I pulled my purse out from under the bench so I would be ready to make the move over to the jury box.  I made sure the lid was tight on the water bottle hidden in my purse.   Frequently called jurors learn that judges and lawyers spend lots of time doing lots of things that don’t involve the jury pool.  You need a good book and a water bottle.

The first name the judge called was someone sitting behind me.  That was strange.  They usually call in numerical order, but still, I didn’t doubt my fate.  It wasn’t until twelve people took their seats in the jury box that it sunk in.  I was off the hook.  I almost let out a shout of joy.  I was heading home and college girl was probably just waking up.

As I headed for the door, high-fiving the other freed candidates, it hit me.  I hadn’t been picked.  How could that be? I didn’t say anything controversial.  I didn’t really say anything at all.  What did the lawyers read into the general information on my juror card?  What made those other candidates better than me?  What’s wrong with me? My feelings were a little hurt.

And that odd thought process reminded me of  the ‘General Qualifications for Jury Service’.  Next time I’m called for service, I may just disqualify myself using #4. (see below)

And I'm not talking moral character

I’m 100% Sure it Can’t be 2012

And how is it that I know it isn’t 2012?  Easy, twelve years couldn’t have passed since the whole Y2K scare.  It’s seems like just yesterday I was storing bottles of water and canned goods in the garage.  We were told when the clocks rang in the new millennium, stores would close because of computer malfunctions.  I stored extra toilet paper in every closet.  Actually I still hoard toilet paper.  I think it’s because of mom and the  scare started by Johnny Carson in 1973. Check out this link for more information if you’re not familiar with this humorous over-reaction.  It may remind you of the Y2K thing.  http://thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com/trivia74.html

English: The Logo Created by The President's C...

I remember 2006, 2009 and 2011 because I had children graduate from high school.  2010 happened because one finished college.  I’ll concede at least four years have passed.  And in the early 2000’s I may have lost a couple of years and, to answer your question, no,  alcohol wasn’t involved.  I lost the first year to what I call the ‘Twelve Month Sugar Fog’.   I made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. As I’ve stated before, I’m not good with the pressure of resolutions.   I told myself I’d start a diet when the Christmas candy was gone and then the Valentine candy and then the Easter candy and then the ‘end of the year school party’ candy and then the ‘summer visiting grandparents’ candy and then the school lunch candy and then the Halloween candy, and, before I knew it we were back to Christmas.  Again, I was in a fog most of the time and, yes, you’re correct in assuming I’m not above stealing chocolate from my children.

As I came down from my sugar high, I rolled into the next year.  I call it  the ‘Fast of Guilt Year’.  The extreme loss of calories and a lack of sugar flowing through my veins kept me in a daze the whole year.  But it had to be done  after the ‘Sugar Fog’ fiasco.  I survived on diet coke and yogurt during the fast.  I don’t remember much more.  I lost weight but I also nearly lost my mind.  Some reading this post might say I did lose my mind.

The Time Thief by Zak Ové

The Time Thief by Zak Ove' Image by ana gasston via Flickr

If you’re keeping up, I will agree, six years have possibly passed.  I’ll go seven for good measure, but twelve- no way.  I’ve read a lot about conspiracies lately and I think we are victims of the 2000 Time Conspiracy.  After seeing the image above, it all came together.  A Time Thief is stealing our minutes and seconds.  Every night when we sleep, he takes an hour or two.  It explains why we wake up tired even when we think we got a full night’s sleep.  I bet it’s happened to you.

And how many times have you said, “Where did the day go?”  Bingo-Time Thief.

Sometimes when your driving, don’t you look up and twenty miles have passed and you have daydreamed right through them?  That doesn’t sound safe, does it?  It’s easy to do if you live  in Texas. The roads are long and flat and the towns are miles and miles apart.  (Note-if any Texas DPS officers read this, remember, I’m a writer, I make this stuff up.)  Everyone else, in largely populated areas, it happens.  I think the Time Thief is involved.

Now I can’t explain how this Time Thief has coordinated all of this and why we all still stay on the same calendar but there’s something happening here.  We need to stop his shenanigans now.  It’s going to be 2025 in the blink of an eye.  Do  you know how old I’ll be in 2025? This has to stop.

Signed- An Empty Nester with Too Much Time (or not enough) on Her Hands

Resolutions-No,No,No, not Now

For all of you – or one or two of you – sitting around waiting to hear my New Year’s Resolutions, it isn’t going to happen.   Instead, I’ve noted three things I won’t work on this year.

For the record if I was going to make resolutions, I think it would be telling that I waited until January 4th to ponder this list.  It’s too late to start any of those write everyday or meditate everyday or celebrate everyday of 2012 kind of plans.   Three full days have passed.  I’ve already blown No Procrastination in 2012 so let’s just not put it on the list- if there was a list.  Anyone who waits until January 4th to make resolutions is a chronic procrastinator and probably needs serious help.  I can’t worry with this.

And speaking of worrying, if I don’t make a list, will people think less of me?  Is having resolutions something I need to do to be a functioning part of society?  Will my children be judged because of their nonconforming mother?  No Worrying in 2012 is not going to make the list of resolutions either-if there was a list.  I will always worry about things like will we have the money to get all the kids through school and still retire, where should we retire, and of course, did I turn the iron off or am I going to burn down the house while I’m at the grocery store and then we will never retire?  It does worry me that I worry about so many things. The first step to recovery is being aware the problem exist, right?

If the children weren’t keeping me so busy during the holidays, then I’d probably have a list.  I’ve gotten used to an empty nest and now I can’t get back on track. Blah-blah-blah.  I can toss blame with the best of them.  No Excuses in 2012 is now off the list-if there was a list.   My mind just runs to excuses.  It’s certainly not my fault I can’t seem to get the Christmas decorations down or the refrigerator cleaned out.  Maybe I’m afraid it will signify the end of the holidays and that mean old, brightly feathered, metal bird will  head this way to fly away with my last birdie.  Darn you, Southwest Airlines.  Actually she’s here for two more weeks.  Children are a parent’s best excuse for almost anything.

English: Southwest Airlines 737-300 N310SW. I ...  

In years past, I have always made the obligatory resolutions.  By February I couldn’t remember these promises.  If I had a written list (I didn’t), it would be lost, but I’m sure on January 1st in long gone years, the list always included the things above and goals of weight loss and writing deadlines to spice it up.  Then, the next thing I knew, it was February and I was too busy to dwell on forgotten resolutions.  I still needed to clean the Christmas leftovers out of the fridge.

And another thing- aren’t we suppose to try to live in the ‘now’?  With resolutions, I become focused on the future and not the ‘now’.   So now, I’m not eating chocolate and I’m writing therefore I wouldn’t consider this wasting time. ( My readers may disagree)  The only thing I’m worried about is getting a post out and I’m not making excuses about why I can’t get this done.  Consequently, I feel pretty good on January 4th, 2012 about my non-resolutions.

At least for ‘now’.

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