Monday, November 14, 2011

BFLY 500!

Although comments have been zip zero nilch since October 11, 2011, my blog has reached and surpassed a (self-set) milestone of 500 views!!!  Yaaayyyyy!! 

I am an aspiring writer but also a serious procrastinator so my recent works have been few.  As is the case with my blog posts; I've been much better about posting recently but they're still a bit irregular. Nevertheless, some people feel compelled to at least stop by and take a peek.  It's a good start, comments or no comments. Just knowing that there is a readership out there inspires me to continue posting so, for my 'sneaky readers,' I am thankful!  :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Work (Week) Interrupted

When I started my current job, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my new office environment was just as cool as, if not more than the one I left.  My new supervisor was great and my coworkers turned out to be friendly enough; either people were nice or they were indifferent.  As an added bonus, not only were my new work hours flexible, where I could choose any shift to work (between the hours of 7 am - 6:30 pm) but I could also choose to have a day off every week or every other week, if I wanted.  Of course, being the kind of employee who requires a mental health day often, I jumped at the opportunity to have a regular day off, in addition to the weekends.  In order to have this kind of schedule, though, one has to make up the hours during their regular work schedule. I didn't like the idea of being at work for 9, 9.5 hours every day so I chose to have one day off every other week as opposed to every week. This meant I'd have to work a half hour longer each day of one week and 45 minutes longer each day of the next week. My off day of choice: Manic Monday! 

Everybody hates when Sunday rolls around because it means you have to get ready for work on Monday. Well, not meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  At least, not me every other Sunday. When my long weekend comes around, it almost feels like it's my birthday or some other holiday. While everyone is pulling themselves together, mentally and physcially, to face the work week once again, I am moving through my day with not a care in the world.  I'm cool, I'm calm, I'm walking around with a smile on my face....all day. I don't rush to do anything or go anywhere. The mere thought of not having to rise the next morning, with the sound of my alarm (after the 10th snooze hit) brings so much joy to my heart, it makes me wanna party. I usually do have a glass of wine or light cocktail in celebration of my 'easy like Sunday morrrrrniiiiinnnnnnn' Mondays. Sometimes, I try to get my sisters to hang out a little late that Sunday some cards, shoot the sh*t, get a little buzzed.  But, more often than not, they have partied hard all weekend....or have saved that Sunday for household chores or family time so I don't get to use my Sunday night as a Saturday night party subsitute as much as I'd like to.  In any case, I find a way to enjoy my long weekend and for that extra day of rest, I am thankful.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Baby, You Can Be My Motivation.....

As I think about the days, weeks and months ahead that it will take for me to get my health back in order, I remind myself how much the hard work and sacrifice will be worth it. Not only will I look, feel and be better but my overall quality of life will improve. Some of my interests will change, my abilities to accomplish goals I've set long ago will be restored, refreshed or renewed, shopping for clothes will no longer be a (physically and mentally) painful experience and getting housework and related chores done will no longer involve a 24-72 hour recovery period. All of these things should inspire me to put down the buffalo wings, get off my ass and move it move it  put into action the knowledge I've acquired on how to lose this weight....and they are definitely on my list.  But my main sources of motivation come from the people in my life.

I know (because I've tried & failed many times) that I cannot lose weight for another person, but there are those who can serve as the proverbial 'battery in my back.'  The ones who, when they come to mind, make me want to do and be better. My #1 human motivating factor is my dear A'shari. Waking up to my gran-diva every day, knowing that the times we'll share in the future will be greatly enhanced by my good bill of health, peace of mind and sunnier disposition makes me want to get up and get moving. The older she gets and the more she develops, my importance in her life becomes more obvious.  She is so precious and curious and deserving. I just can't imagine her going through life having to settle for memories and stories told to her about her grandmother. No, that just won't do. I have to be around to make great memories with her. I want to be, for her, what my grandmothers were for me: a constant, refreshing, welcoming and comforting presence. When her mommy gets on her nerves, she can call G'ammi.  If Mommy & Daddy can't/won't do it, G'ammi will.  If she needs a place to feel G'ammi's she can come. In Dr. Phil's words, I want to be my granddaughter's 'soft place to fall.'  For her, I will.  My #2 source of human motivation are my siblings. I have 7 fabulous sisters and 2 gorgeous brothers; and while I don't feel like my beauty is overshadowed by theirs, it sure as hell ain't packaged as nicely! My clothing choices are not as vast and though I do a great job of putting myself together, a pair of body-hugging jeans and a sexy, snug shirt on a 140lb body looks a helluva lot better than it does on a 240lb. body.  That's just fact and I have no problem with saying/admitting that.  My sisters are serious divas and, while a couple of them may have a few extra pounds here and there, I wouldn't say they have weight issues such as mine. They surely haven't let any fluctuations in their body weight/shape keep them from showing their asses get them down.  In fact, my baby sister, who went from about a size 9 to a 13 simply made the decision that she didn't wanna be 'fat' anymore and she biked, walked and ran her way back to a svelte shape......'Poof! Fat Be Gone!'  She is now about a size 7/8, looking and feeling great and I need to stand out in front of with her & the rest of the crew.  Anything less just won't do!

Baby, they are certainly my motivation!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Dream Deferred......

Being an in-residence grandmother, I don't have the luxury of inviting or bringing my grandchild over to my house, enjoying my time with her then returning to sender.  Making surprise visits to my daughter's home is not an option.  Whisking my granddaughter off for a weekend away with G'ammi just ain't gonna least, not now.  You see, there's a difference between being the kind of grandparent that kids anticipate seeing on the weekends and vacations and the kind who are in their faces every. single. datblam (family euphemism for the blasphemous gd). day!  Growing up, I loved to go to either of my grandparents' houses (paternal grandmother and maternal grandparents).  I knew, once there, I'd have more freedom than I could dream of having at home; my cousins, sisters and I could run amuck and there was sure to be some kind of edible treats.  If I went to Grandma & Grandpa's house, money was definitely in the cards as Grandpa loved to make his grandbabies happy by dishing out the green.  Some of my most treasured and wonderful memories were made with or at the houses of my grandparents. Which is why I vowed to be the greatest grandparent I could be to my grandchildren, when my time came.  Well, my time came much sooner than I anticipated or appreciated. 

When I thought of my life as a grandmother, I imagined..........I would move in with my daughter after she gave birth to help her and her husband with their first run at parenthood; I would call to check in from whatever city, state or country I was in at any given time; I figured I'd be doing drive-bys (dispensing love and gifts, not bullets) on the weekends. I wanted to be the grandma who would make travel arrangements, day spa appointments and shopping trips especially for me and my grands. I wanted to be a spontaneous, fun-loving, spoil-grands-rotten kind of grandmother.  But, I'm not quite that kind......yet. Since she lives with me, I see my granddaughter every day, except for the weekends when she goes to visit her other grandparents.  Don't get me wrong, I love seeing her every day and on the days I don't, I get some peace and quiet miss her.  But I wish I had a choice on whether or not I saw her every day and I wish our time together felt more like a retreat than an overstayed welcome.

Because my daughter is a first-time Mom and a growing, maturing and still learning about life young woman, I have to play the role of 2nd Mom more than I get to play Gammi the G'va (that's Grandma & Diva rolled into one).  I make bottles, wash bottles, do feedings, bath time, play time, nap time, bedtime, middle-of-the-night-soothing time, calm-yo-behind-down-before-I-skin-it time.....none of which fit into the times I had planned in my mind.  Granted, I don't do all of these things every singe day and some I've only done a few times BUT, the combined efforts I feel obligated to put forth cuts into my 'Gammi Time.'  So much so that I don't believe I've ever spent a full 24 hours with my gran'diva alone. I don't babysit her for more than a few hours at a time and I only babysit once in a good while. When she goes away on the weekends, I feel like I'm getting almost as big of a break as my daughter gets. Of course, I miss the gran'diva when she's away but I'm also glad to see somebody else get a taste of her baby-wrath her go on the weekends. One day, I'll be able to be the kind of grandmother I yearn to be.....but for now, I'll make the best of our family arrangements. Fortunately, for all involved, my gran'diva has other grandparents, aunts and uncles who love her to pieces and enjoy spending time with her.  My daughter has an awesome support system and for that, I am thankful!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Team Work!

Often times, we sit around and complain about our coworkers, supervisors, managers and bosses: We don't get enough money, workplace rules are too strict, fellow employees are gossipers and backstabbers, our supervisors get paid more to do less, etc. etc. Rarely do you hear people talk about their love, or even like, for their jobs, respect for their superiors or appreciation of their coworkers (aka teammates). I've been a state employee for over five years and in my current position for a little less than four years.  In general, state workers (of the great New York) get a bad rap.  Some people think we get paid to sit around and do nothing; that we have too many perks and not enough productivity; that we are a bunch of spoiled brats.  I can't speak for other agencies, departments and offices but the people that I work for and with?  We get it that is!  Yes, we are fortunate to not work for micromanagers, where our every move is monitored and recorded.  The atmosphere is pretty laid back and the vibe is cool.  I wouldn't say I wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to get to work but I'm not dragging myself in, dreading every second of my impending work day. I don't particularly enjoy what I do simply because I don't feel I do much, in the way of making an impact in the manner I would like to.  Sure, my tasks are important to the people my agency serves but there's very little self-satisfaction I feel.  However, what I do has absolutely nothing to do with my personal self or my satisfaction. I work in a service-driven industry on which whose focus is the people it serves.  We (the people behind the scenes) are simply charged to do our jobs to the best of our abilities, ensuring that the best services possible are made available to those who need it. To do that, I don't need to be satisfied....I just need to get to work and make it happen! And with the way the economy is right now, I'm just glad I have a 'work' to get to,' so for that, I give thanks.........

I am thankful to be gainfully employed; especially during these times when people are losing their jobs, their security and even parts of their dreams.  I am thankful that I have a place to be when I awake in the morning.  I thank God for the people I serve and I hope, through my completed duties, their blessings are plenty.  I'm thankful for my coworkers and staff members who work together with me to accomplish our company's goals.  Our work may be underrated, unappreciated and sometimes unfairly graded......but we continue to do it anyway.  Some days are long and frustrating, others are short and leisurely.  Some teammates are in it to win it, others are barely in.  Whatever the case may be, we are blessed to be in each other's midst, amongst the working population.  To be a part of a team who still has the chance to build their dreams, accomplish their goals, take care of their families and support the less fortunate makes me feel good....and for that, I am thankful.....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Patience Is A Virtue....

My patience is tried on a daily basis.  Whether I am at home, at work, visiting relatives or out in public, SOMEbody, SOMEwhere tries their luck with my patience.  I am a mild-mannered person with a very laid back personality.  I am not what one would consider to be outspoken but I will speak my piece, when necessary.  I have never been an extrovert but I am known to 'bring the party.'  I usually greet people with a smile and a kind word or two....but, with my words, I can also cut'cha deep.  I have a sensitive soul with a penchant for 'saving souls' and a preference for peace.  That all being said, some people run all over me take my kindness for quiet for mildness for fear.  Until I stand up on my hind legs, shake my fists and rooooaaaarrrrrr.........and I really hate to do that.  Thankfully, today was a good day.  A day where, thus far, I have been able to remain calm amongst the noise and chaos.  So I have to say, thank you...........

I am so very thankful for my huge blessing of patience.  I can soothe my fussy granddaughter, redirect my sometimes delusional grandmother, check-check my attitudinal child, diffuse a 'hostile situation' between employees at work, keep the peace between sisters, and make reasonable, helpful suggestions to another frustrated parent all in one day........while still having a dose of patience left to shush Negative Nelly (who lives in the minds of us all) and allow room for making a bad choice mistake without killing myself.  My patience does sometimes wear thin but it has never run out.....and for that,  you all need to be I am thankful! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On Second Thought....

When considering what to post today, I thought about about a few things that may have been viewed as negative and self-serving. First, I was going to vent about my disappointment in a few people close to me, then I thought I'd talk about one of (what I deem to be) my failures as a Mom, then I was gonna give an update on my 'WLS' journey. But none of those topics felt 'right' so, I decided to just wait.  I figured, throughout the course of the day, I would see, hear, read or think about something that would be interesting, positive and/or entertaining.....and fortunately, I was right. While perusing a few local blogs, I came across a post in which the author decided, for the month of November, she is going to post about being thankful. *Smacks myself in the forehead!* Why didn't I think of that?!  That idea is soooooooooooooo me!  Yeah....unh hunh.....well, I didn't think of it but I'm glad I ran across it because it's exactly what I am going to do. It will be an easy task to accomplish because I am thankful for so much already and I'm sure I'll have more to be thankful for in the coming days.  So, on that note, let me get started...........

Today, I give thanks for my grandmother, the beautiful Elizabeth, better known to many as 'Betty' or 'Liz'.....or the pretty old lady with a car full of 'junk.'  She is almost 89 years old and, though she now lives with me, is still pretty much an independent woman.  Physically, she is/has always been a stunningly beautiful woman.  Reddish-brown skin with black silky hair that, at one time, flowed down to her waist but is now thin, gray and shoulder length. She doesn't dress up much anymore but, when 'company' (which is mostly family) comes over, she fusses over her looks. On good days, she cracks jokes, requests a highball or a glass of blackberry wine and talks about the boyfriend she needs to get out and find.  They are few and far-between, but I love those times. From what I've heard and been a witness (sometimes party) to, it's safe to say that my grandmother led a very colorful life.  Through stories told by her and others, I have heard about her ups & downs, ins & outs, triumphs & tragedies and loves & losses she has enjoyed or endured.  In spite of, or because of, it all, I was blessed to have the most wonderful grandmother a girl could ever wish for.  Grandma has been my mother, teacher, doctor, banker, chauffeur, chef, bartender (ha!) and shopping buddy.  There's not an area of my life that she has not touched in some way.  She not only taught me how to be a lady but she showed me what a lady should look, behave and be treated like.  My grandmother has given so much to me, of her time, energy, money and self  that I couldn't begin to repay her. Guess it's a good thing she's always done those things out of the goodness of her heart. ;-)  Although life together can be frustrating and tough, I am grateful and thankful for each moment.  I will always cherish the memories I have and relish in each opportunity we get to make more.  I can't imagine (what) life (would have been like) without my Grandma in it.....for her simple presence, I am thankful.

Who are you thankful for?