Useless Thoughts Running Through My Head

various musings of a generation x kad

Archive for the ‘happiness’ Category

Have TomTom, will travel

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 10, 2008

A few months ago I bought a TomTom GPS for a long trip I was taking.  I have since discovered that owning a GPS means I will now venture into the previously scary world of City Driving.

I grew up in a suburban/rural setting.  I am not accustomed to the free for all known as Boston Driving.  Nor do I know my way around Boston or Cambridge or Somerville by car.  And Medford positively scares.  I always manage to get lost in Medford.  However, lately I have found myself driving around Cambridge, Somerville, and even Watertown(!).  All because I have the TomTom.

You see, with the GPS I no longer worry about getting hopelessly lost and ending up in Lexington when I really wanted to be in Back Bay.  (I actually haven’t done that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I did.)  Not that I no longer make mistakes with the GPS.  Sometimes I miss a turn, or the GPS leads me to a dead end.  But, at least I know I can get out of the jam I’ve found myself in.  TomTom will recalculate my route, and off I’ll go, back on the right track.

With TomTom stuck to my windshield I have ventured forth to a friend’s condo in Central Square, a house party in Chestnut Hill, a liquor store in Watertown, a movie theater in Davis Square, and the wilds of New Hampshire.  Before I would have made these treks with trepidation and been full of stress and anxiety as I made wrong turn after wrong turn, but now I confidently pull out of my driveway and make my way through streets that range from vaguely familiar to outright bewildering and reach my intended destination within a reasonable time.

I imagine that after driving with TomTom as my co-pilot, I will eventually learn where everything is and how to get there by car.


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One more piece to getting my shit together

Posted by thoughtful1 on December 4, 2008

Because Target was open until 11 tonight, I was able to buy a file cabinet.  It’s not heavy duty, but it is metal, and decent looking.  I just finished attaching the drawer handles.  Next up is attaching the casters.  Maybe tomorrow I can decide where to put and begin filling it.

And, maybe, just maybe, this will help me be better about paying bills on time and keeping the clutter to a minimum instead of piling up on the floor.

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Getting rid of the monsters

Posted by thoughtful1 on November 22, 2008

As I mentioned in an earlier post, a friend helped clear out a mess of boxes from the living room.  That has helped me re-start my efforts to declutter and tidy up.  But this time it’s different – this time around I’m starting to see that I am worth it to have a clean house.  I know it sounds strange, and maybe I’ve worded it wrong, or I don’t have it quite right, but I look around and I begin to see how things could be instead of how they are.  I don’t feel as overwhelmed as I did.  Or, at least, I don’t give in to those feelings like I used to.

I still have moments where I just can’t deal, but instead of putting something off for weeks, months, years, I eventually get around to a task within a few days.  Like tonight.  I started in on the pile of papers in the office area.  It still looks like a mess, but now I have two paper bags of paper for recycling.  In the past I would have thought, “Recycling was this week.  I shouldn’t bother until two weeks from now when it’s recycling week again.”  Now I am better about letting bags of paper sit around for two weeks before I can recycle them.  It’s because I know that it’s progress, whereas before I’d look at the bags and think only of failure – that I didn’t get around to it sooner.

One factor that has helped motivate me is the realization that I just have to toughen up and Do It.  I’ve known for a few years that my clutter is a symptom of something deeper going on.  Normal people don’t freeze or feel anxious when confronted with a box full of stuff.  Regular people don’t allow years worth of junk mail to pile up, or leave grocery receipts from last year on the kitchen counter.  But there’s something going on the keeps me taking care of things.  I feel overwhelmed.  Or I want to do something else.  I think it could be a sign of some sort of depression.  I’m not certain, but that’s my guess.  And it’s most likely related to adoption – some strange attachment thing.  But, the same friend who helped me move the boxes also told me that I just need to work through it by cleaning up.  That somehow the act of forcing myself to clean things up will make things better for me on the inside.  He’s probably right, though I don’t know how exactly.  I only took Psych 101…

Another thing that helped was me finally getting that my friends, my real friends, don’t give a shit if my place is messy.  I’m not being judged.  Before, I viewed the situation as “I trust them to see my place and still like me,” which is slightly different from “They like me enough that they don’t care.”

Finally, it’s helped that I realized that by the time you get this old, you’ve got issues.  Everyone has something going on, and everyone has some sort of dysfunction.  It gives deeper meaning to the phrase “nobody’s perfect.”  And, if no one else is perfect, then I don’t have to be.  Or pretend to be.  It’s a huge burden to feel like you have to be perfect.  Feeling like I have to be perfect means that whenever I came across a piece of junkmail that’s over a year old I’d think, “My God, that’s still around?  You are such a LOSER!”

It’s slow going, but I think I am finally climbing out of this hole.  Things won’t change overnight, and I still feel overwhelmed at times, but I’m beginning to feel better about this.

And, I saw this cartoon in the New Yorker this week.  Maybe I should purchase a print of it sometime…  (Like when the economy is better and I’m not worried about getting laid off :P)

Posted in adoption, clutter, depression, happiness, issues | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Re-thinking a few things

Posted by thoughtful1 on November 10, 2008

Sorry, been busy the past few months……..  My bad.

Anyway, for reasons I won’t get into, I’ve been re-thinking some things the past few weeks.  It started with TV.  This fall season I haven’t been watching as much TV as I usually do.  Further, I simply haven’t missed any of the shows I usually watch.  The only program I was excited about seeing, and that I made an effort to see was “Mad Men,” whose season has ended.  After watching the “Heroes” premiere and realizing it was stupid, I gave up on that show.  As well as a few others, including “Smallville,” which has gotten dumber than “Heroes”.  I cleaned up the DVR.  The only shows I have set to record are “House” and “Dirty Sexy Money,” and I may cancel those, too.

Basically, I no longer found TV all that entertaining.  And I figured my time would be better spent elsewhere.

The other things I’ve been re-thinking are a little less specific.  More like, “What should I be doing with myself?” types of questions.  I started re-examining relationships I’ve made in the past year and whether they were worth maintaining.  Some are, some are not.  Last year I became a social butterfly, which is very, very odd for me.  This year I feel like retreating back into the cocoon, but with a better sense of who will be a real friend, and on whom I can rely.

Oddly, along with this, I’ve been putting more thought into my home.  A friend helped me clear out the living room in a big way.  Boxes that had been sitting there for years were relocated to the basement, and the basement hodgepodge was organized.  So now I have a big open space in the living room.  And it’s given me space to think: What to do with this?  I found myself staring at the 13 year-old TV and wondering if I should put it up on Freecycle.  I think I may do this, but only after I find a replacement TV for the kitchen.  I live alone, so the ability to watch the news while eating dinner is a must.  Sad, but true.  However, my current setup in the living room allows me to lounge and eat while watching TV, something I find very relaxing, and something of an emotional comfort.  So I’m not sure……  But, it would be nice to have one room in the place that does not have a TV.  And probably better for me, too.

Thinking about the home is really forcing me to think about my life, such as what I do, what I want to do, what my style is, etc.  These are tough questions.  Especially since I think I am beginning some sort of transition.  To what, I don’t know.  For example, the obvious answer to the living room would be to buy sitting furniture and set it up for reading and conversation.  But, as I was staring at the nearly bare wall where the now very lonely TV is, I thought it might be interesting to place a project table there where I could do artwork.

But, I am not an artist.

However, I’ve been considering taking an art course.  I’ve always enjoyed doing art, but I only took classes when I was in school, and even then it was only what was required for my diploma.  Since high school doesn’t count art as academic (but you can get a degree in it! hrmph), I took two course, and one course in college.  That was it.  I would like to go back to it, and see if having an artistic outlet would make me feel more balanced.  Or something.  Odds are I would get frustrated at the lack of technical skill – I wouldn’t be able to draw something the way I wanted it to look – but it would be worth a shot.

And, if I had a large table somewhere where I could work on stuff, then maybe instead of wasting time watching TV I could find pleasure in creating something.  But, there’s always the fear that the large project table would become a gathering place for more clutter.  So, I should think about that some more.

Posted in happiness, my future, my mundane life, TV | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

This is for all the fat girls!

Posted by thoughtful1 on May 14, 2008

Some of you may remember that Cameron Mann shouted out, “This is for all the fat girls!” when she won an Emmy. Well, I was thinking that when Whitne was named this cycle’s winner of America’s Next Top Model. A plus-sized model won!!! And she won it after walking in a Versace show! Dude – Whitney won it in a high fashion show!

I am just psyched that a big girl won. I don’t expect the fashion industry to change, but this is a pretty cool start.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the fashion houses made clothes for all of us?

Posted in happiness, sociology, TV | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Life is strange, and sometimes in a good way

Posted by thoughtful1 on November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving is in two days.  Normally, I can’t think of anything to be thankful for beyond the usual good health, good job, good family, roof over my head, blah blah blah.  I know, I know – those are very valuable things.  But I’m usually too busy to think about what I should be truly thankful for.  Sad, but true.

This year is a little different.  I’ve been in a funk  with my church – I’ll save the details for a future post (maybe).  So I’ve been taking a break from church. I’ve spent Sunday mornings in bed and listening to the radio.  This past morning I was listening to WBUR, a local NPR affilitate.  Each Sunday morning at 11, though, WBUR broadcasts the interfaith service at BU’s chapel.  Not surprisingly, the sermon this week was on thankfulness.

I don’t remember all the details of the sermon, but one bit caught my attention.  The minister talked about contemplating how sometimes God sends us things when we most need and when we least expect them.  That got my attention.  This past year, something precious was given to me right when I needed it, and when I least expected it.  And it’s something for which I am very grateful.

We had a major re-org this past spring.  It didn’t affect me too much professionally – I am still doing the same thing I was doing before.  I just  report to someone else.  And they moved me.  They moved me closer to a group of users who can be… needy.  Demanding.  Thorns in my side.

I was apprehensive.

The first month or so I kept a low profile.   I didn’t want to be bothered by them, and I was suddenly surrounded by people I didn’t know well.  When I am in a new situation, I keep quiet, waiting until it’s safe to come out.  I don’t show my true colors until I know what the rules are of the group or situation.

After a month or so, I slowly became friends with one of my new office mates.  Because of this, I ended up joining a professional association.  I had been thinking about becoming a member for a while, but never got around to it.  But my new friend wanted to join, and asked if I was interested.  I said, “Sure.”  He e-mailed someone and told them we wanted to be members, and we became members.  So he served as a catalyst for me joining.

It turned out that being part of this group meant an instant social life.  Suddenly I was meeting people who were open to getting together to do stuff – go out to eat, go dancing, hang out and do nothing, take day trips.   And, even though it’s been a very short time, I’ve made some very good friends.

And right when I needed them.

Right before (or right after?) joining this association, I came to realization that I needed to break-up  with my boyfriend.  It wasn’t working.  I had been slowly getting to the end of my rope, and I finally got there.  Even though I initiated the break-up, it really got to me.  Tears, depression, etc.  But having places to go and people to meet has helped me get through that, and now I am finding myself part of a social group that is giving me something I really haven’t had since college: friends and acquaintances with whom I can just be.  And who make me feel welcome.

And all because of a corporate re-org that stuck me somewhere I didn’t want to be.  Who would have guessed?

Fate is a strange thing.

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A shout of joy and a sigh of relief

Posted by thoughtful1 on June 14, 2007

At approximately 1:30 PM today I simultaneously felt joy and relief. The proposed marriage amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman was defeated 😀

Posted in BGLT rights, happiness, news, politics, social action | Leave a Comment »

I found her!

Posted by thoughtful1 on June 7, 2007

I found someone I’ve been looking for – a co-worker from my days when I was a retail manger trainee. We lost touch after we each got placed in different stores (in different states). This was before either of us were online, making it harder to stay in touch. It didn’t help that she has a very common name. Tonight I logged into and did a search for her name and age. Luckily she posted not only her high school, but also her picture, so I know it’s her!

I tried sending her an e-mail via, but to do so you need the premium membership. I’ll give a shot at finding her e-mail or snail mail with what I have so far before paying money.

Update: Talk about good timing.  I took a closer look at her profile.  She created a account yesterday. 🙂

I’m so excited! She’s one of those people I felt bad about losing touch with, and I haven’t stayed in touch with anyone from those days. Yay!

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