Potty Talk

During our 346 mile drive to the west side for a state playoff football game, this conversation happened between me and my husband:

G: Do you have to pee? 

H: I always have to pee.

G: (Pulls out of the fog to yet another rest area.)

H: Crap! It’s only portables. I hate those. 

G: Yeah I know. 

H: (entering a portable) It’s better than peeing on the road. Though this trip I remembered to bring a giant plastic cup for emergency road stops so that I don’t pee on my shoes. Guys are so lucky. 

G: (entering the other portable)Yeah.

H: (exiting the portable with a grimace on her face) Street peeing would have been better. I may or may not have peed on my shoes

G: Do I dare ask ‘how on earth’?

H: You wouldn’t understand.

G: But I’m sure you’re going to try and explain.

H: The seat was totally covered in pee before I got there and there was no place to hang my purse. 

G: Well THAT explains it.

H: And the shirt Im wearing is super long. See?

G: 

H: I can do two and sometimes three things at once. But never four. 

G: (picture thought bubbles above his head filled with question marks floating around  the words ‘why am I with this woman’)

H: (Counting with fingers for emphasis) 1)Hold purse 2)hold up shirt 3) hesitantly squat/lunge to pee over a rather high toilet seat 4)aim 5) reach for TP with purse hand See?

G: The next five miles we need to watch for elk

H: (Watches for elk for five miles, worried about any elk getting hurt, but luckily doesn’t see any, so she’s pretty sure that was just code for ‘stop talking about pee’)

Krakatoa is Coming for Me

It’s currently 5:30 pm on Friday night as I start this post. I literally had to force myself to click off all the open tabs on my computer and just let go for the day. Three days away at a conference has put me three days behind in my daily work flow. Fridays for me are generally sacred office days. I sleep in a little bit later because I know I’m not going to get dressed but just do the following in my pjs (or sweats if I’m feeling ambitious): 

  • Follow up on orders placed that week and make sure they are entered on my spreadsheet so I can report to my manufacturers: BEHOLD! I am working!
  • Set appointments for the next couple weeks, using my computer calendar, my planner and my white board for back up
  • Research potential new customers-they are out there, and Google has changed the world as we know it
  • Maybe eat some soup and do some yoga at noon or take the dogs for a walk
  • Study new products: can’t sell if I can’t tell
  • Order samples
  • Organize my car and home office desk
  • Send out handwritten thank you cards-my rule is three per week

But none of that even came close to happening today. My sole focus was my EMAIL IN-BOX, which I have named Krakatoa, after a live volcano in Indonesia. 

Now mind you, I’m not a “ZERO emails in the in-box by end of day” kind of person. I’m pretty sure people like that are demi-gods who don’t sleep, eat or have any fun. Me? I’m comfortable with 50 or under at the end of the day and 25 or under before the weekend starts. I like a little left over email clutter because these are usually emails that I need to respond to with a little more thought, time and a fresh brain.

Tonight, however, I shut things down with 282 unread emails in my inbox and I worked most of the day to get it to that number so I’m feeling completely out of control. I read somewhere that reading and returning emails should not be on your To-Do list but for my business they are a key part in how I move projects from the design phase into orders, which is of course what pays me. So HELL yeah emails are part of my to do list. But there comes a point in time where you just need to say enough and risk the danger of Krakatoa exploding with hot lava and frustrated clients.

I’m old enough to remember my sales life without email. Life moved at a different pace then. We communicated on phones with cords so you couldn’t pace while talking without pulling the phone off your desk. Sometimes we mailed proposals or literature with STAMPS. Later on came this devil magic thing called the FAX Machine. But most of the work was done face to face. 

These days, at least for me, emails have become a pretty big part of the sales equation and I don’t think this will be changing any time soon. And now I can actually email video recordings of myself showing product options with background music (2020 goal). And if you read my blog post from two days ago, I can text videos of my cartoon emoji saying thank you for the order.

So while NOTHING and I mean nothing beats being up close and personal in sales (and at home: I’m about to go show my real face to my family) Krakatoa is live and rumbling and she’s coming for me. But she is gonna have to wait until Monday. 

Sitting Still

I have been in an 8 hour long meeting about navigating government contracts with almost no time to answer phone calls or emails from my clients today, let alone write a blog post. There is one more day to go tomorrow and I have to say: my soul feels slightly dead. I’m not good at sitting still for ONE hour, let alone eight, unless it’s to binge watch Netflix. It is 5:48 pm and I have exactly thirty-two minutes to pull some kind of blog post out of my sleeve before I get to go have dinner at the 3rd finest steakhouse in Las Vegas which I’m NOT skipping, even though I considered doing so and instead opt for room service and my jammies and catching up on work and writing. But I’m in VEGAS and I really love steak. Consequently, this is probably going to be short and dull with a lot of bad grammar because while I absolutely want to put out good content to my small but loyal group of readers, the promise to myself of a daily post in November means I may have to from time to time say “screw content”. Sorry not sorry. 

There was assigned seating today at the conference and I was placed at the front of the room in the middle of the long narrow table. They clearly did not get the memo that I am extremely claustrophobic and need to be by an exit sign at all times or I get fidgety and a little panic sweaty. Plus it was awkward to sneak out to the bathroom, (HELLO: six babies equals bad bladder) AND there was not enough table space for all my STUFF. I also kept kicking off the table skirt every time I crossed and uncrossed my legs, which was about every forty two seconds, due to bladder/claustrophobia. To make matters worse, I couldn’t sneak texts and emails because the boss of the conference was very strict about phones being off and attention being on the content. Which I understand entirely. They spent a lot of time putting the conference together and it’s not polite to not pay attention. 

But the night before I had figured out how to make videos of my personalized emoji self using face recognition with my recorded voice message coming out of super cute lips, complete with perfect lipstick.  Earlier that morning I had sent quite a few videos of my new CARTOON identity telling my kids I loved them, my friends that I was stuck in Vegas without them and sad and thanking a few customers for orders in what I thought to be an amazingly creative manner. So I was getting quite a few responses from the people I texted this morning with my new favorite thing EVER: CARTOON HEATHER.  So I wanted to see the responses but couldn’t until breaks. 

It turns out that a lot of my customers (and some of my family members) thought I was drunk, which I WAS NOT. So I had to explain to them in NORMAL phone calls during the lunch hour (when I could have been eating TACOS) that I had thought it was great marketing, having a cartoon video of myself. Plus I don’t even have to brush my hair or put makeup like I do when I Facetime. My video emoji ALWAYS LOOKS CUTE. So this could potentially change the whole sales call thing, assuming I can close deals in 30 seconds or under. 

It’s probably going to take a little while for people to get used to the new cartoon me but I’m pretty sure I’m on to something. 

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Zen Flying

I’m always super smug  in the TSA security line and take delight in being THE most efficient person in line despite the fact that I need five bingies for my stuff. 

Bingie #1

  • Easy to slip off shoes (The TSA guy took them OUT of my bingie which was annoying to my sense of order but I didnt protest. Im sure he touches a LOT of shoes which could make a person cranky when argued with.)
  • My lucky necklace that one person said looks like an Irish Symbol. It actually came free with a dress purchase at Kohls. But I personally think it looks like a spy necklace
  • My Fitbitch: she loves when I’m in airports, hello STEPS
  • Wedding ring. (Apparently I didn’t have to take that off but it was fun to be single for a minute) 
  • Glasses (which is why I didn’t see the other TSA person waiving me through to the poof of wind tunnel and therefore lost efficiency points for dawdeling for 3.2 seconds before getting yelled at) 

Bingie #2

  • My baggie full of liquids and gels plus three lipsticks. Im never sure if lipsticks count as gel but Im not willing to risk potential time in Fulsom over LIPSTICK
  • My purse, now empty of my mom’s urn and my samuri sword (see yesterday’s blog post) plus all liquids and gels and MAY be gels) see Bingie#2

At this point the man behind me thinks I’m done with bingies. Oh contraire Mr Take Up MY Bingie Space Guy. 

Bingie#3

  • Ipad 1
  • Ipad 2
  • Iphone
  • Ichargers 1 and 2
  • IhavetoomanyIdevices-it’s too complicated to explain
  • Portable Iphone battery thing that looks super suspicious to ME because it looks like a tiny black bomb, but its not, it’s my emergency back up charger in case I cant find a port/plug and/or dont want to sit by someone weird in order to charge via said port/ plug, so I NEED it but always get a little sweaty about this. 

Bingie#4

  • My Chromebook

Bingie#5

  • My briefcase containing 14 blue capped pens, 1 red pen and three spiral notebooks in case one of my Idevices doesn’t work
  • A really good library book that I hope I don’t leave on the airplane. My library card has been marked ‘at risk’ so I’m taking a big chance

Mr. Pushy actually had the nerve to whisper God’s Son’s name in vain while I OCD’d all my bingies so they were all in a straight line and flipped my briefcase a few times so the shoulder straps weren’t hanging out. He clearly did not know how much slower any OTHER person would have been with all this stuff. I forgive him though. People get weird in airports. It’s the fear and uncertainty. 

This is why I always put on my biggest, most serene, ‘I’m more patient than all of you’ smile from the security line all the way through boarding, watching the pursed lip, scowly people flounder and sigh and judge the person in front of them for going too slow or having so much stuff or just being annoyingly in front of them. They know not what they do for they are anxious, weary, fearful fliers and don’t know how to be zen like me while traveling.

My biggest concern on my flight from Spokane to Salt Lake was deciding before the flight attendant reached me, if I wanted cookies or cheez-its. I didn’t have my glasses on and couldn’t see what kind of cookie they were serving. The cheez-it packages looked pretty small and I was worried it would be just a cheez-it tease and not any kind of happy cheez-it orgy. I mean the flight was a whole hour and thirty seven minutes. 

It turned out they were whole grain cheez-its. Blasphemy. I chose poorly. Which made me kind of grumpy about the kid behind me kicking my seat. I’m normally more chill about that stuff, but I’m not gonna lie, I visualized a little airplane aisle smack down. And the guy next to me was a diet-coke slurper so that was a little grating to my ears. But I kept that shit to myself and just asked for a cookie from the super nice Delta Flight attendant, who had a sexy french accent. And he gave one to me without any kind of snarky judging. 

In conclusion, not one single person KNEW I was having any kind of inner struggle with zen flying.  I don’t know why other people can’t be more like me. 

Namaste Bitches! Ha!

 

 

 

Tripping

I’m feeling super whiny and stressed out because I have to fly to Vegas tomorrow for work. Don’t roll your eyes, it’s not going to be all that fun. The meeting is about how to maneuver through government flooring contracts. The thought kind of makes me want to stab my eyes out. Yes. I know flooring is my livelihood but why Vegas? And why three whole days? I mean isn’t that what the government does? Take something that should only need four hours to accomplish and stretch it out into three days and spend four times the amount of money than is even logical? 

I’m starting to sound like my dad.

Anyhow. I’ve been short on time all day today trying to smash four days of my real work into one day PLUS figure out what I’m going to wear at my meetings in Vegas. That’s really what my stress is about. I find it’s so much easier to just DRIVE where I have to go because then I can take everything in my closet complete with hangers plus ALL my shoes and dump it into four suitcases. This would cost $300 to check on an airplane. Plus my car doesn’t judge me for packing four suitcases for three days of travel. 

Flying on an airplane puts serious limitations on all the possible wardrobe scenarios that I like to have available to me in order to deal with my tumultuous inner climate, which I blame mostly on global warming: 

  • Sweaty (even in conference rooms with the AC turned to negative ten degrees)
  • Cold (In weather that is 40 degrees warmer than Spokane)
  • Sweaty on my top half and cold on my lower half or vice versa (see how complex I can be?)
  • Bloated from the airplane ride and/or the Big Mac I ate in the airport
  • Sprained ankle that limits cute boots to only sitting and looking cute but not walking which means I have to have at least five only SORT of cute pairs of comfy shoes for back up if I have to walk  (I’m really struggling with blaming global warming on my trip/fall hazardous life but I’m sure it’s somehow connected) 
  • Suddenly not looking good in black (which would mean I’m having a complete emotional breakdown because 95% of my clothing is black-but it’s happened before, hence the need for colorful SCARVES)

Can you see why I would be stressed out? 

BUT on the bright side, my purse is now nice and tidy for my flight: all flammable liquids, my mom’s urn and the samurai sword I keep for safety have all been taken out of my purse and stored safely at home where they won’t be questioned.  Like I will be about my four suitcases. 

My Seven Daily Sanes

I’m so different than I was ten years ago. I am reminded of this daily when I look at the top shelf in my office where the shadow box sits that Grant made me for Christmas ten years ago. It contains  pictures of me finishing my first marathon complete with my hard earned and nearly died trying to acquire necklace medal. Honestly it was all I could do not to put that thing around my neck and saunter around every day ALL day for people to see. I’m not a jewelry person but THAT bling? It has stories to tell! Like when I thought my friend Bill was a medic on a bicycle at the top of the hill nearing mile 13. There he was practically shimmering like an angel and I thought “Thank GOD because things are not going how I planned.” It turned out he was Bill instead, which was even better, offering flat Coca-Cola and inspiration. “Meet you at the next mile marker and you can have another drink of this.” My friend, without a doubt is responsible for helping me cross the finish line, one mile at a time with sugar nectar and pep talks for incentive, so that I could experience Grant and our cheering kids waving and clapping  at the end like I was some kind of princess warrior. My eyes still water over that feeling. 

I think it would be funny for Grant to make me another shadow box at the end of this year to show how hard I have worked to reshape my marathon mentality and physicality. There would for sure be a picture of me first thing in the morning showing off my Fitbitch that says I already burned 636 calories and I HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN OUT OF BED YET! I mean, how great is THAT? I’m awesome without even trying!

I’m currently not running due to a very long battle with bad ankles. Right now I have frozen peas strapped to both sides of my ‘good’ ankle that I sprained when I fell down the bleachers when I was trying to take a picture of my son David at the end of his last home JV Football game. It was below 30 degrees that night and I forgot I had a blanket wrapped around me. I went down with a very large and painful crash. I’m pretty sure Grant was trying to pretend like he didn’t know me because he just kept walking. Two lovely older-than-me people tried to help me up but I was literally frozen solid and would have taken them down with me. “No. I’m good. I’m pretty sure I sprained my ankle but my husband will eventually notice I have fallen and literally can not get up, and come back for me. He promised until death parts us.”

Some days it’s easier said than done to not comparison shame myself to the me of ten years ago. Sometimes I dream about it, the running.  Long distance running is a powerful thing and the experiences of my marathons have taught me so much about myself and continue to give me insights and new perspectives in my daily life. The other day I had an ‘aha’ moment that I will share before I get to the point of this post, which I’m pretty sure is not about marathons. 

I was reading this beautiful novel that was just…mmmm…so yummy….see? I was deeply absorbed in the words and the story and the magic it takes to write a novel when I felt my left brain say to my right brain something really nasty “You will never write a novel. Blogs are easier. Short.  Simple. Not a lot of effort. You’re just not smart enough or disciplined enough to write a whole book, especially a novel. You should give up on that idea.”

WTF left brain? First of all, you are an overly analytical naysayer. Second, I  can remember when blog posts were super hard to write. Mainly because it was YESTERDAY that I was struggling to get one finished before the WSU Cougar Football game started. But here’s the thing:  I can also remember how hard it was the first time I ran three miles without stopping: huge accomplishment! A marathon is simply a series of short runs, that when gradually and methodically put together, becomes a marathon. Perhaps novels are of similar nature. So fuck you left brain.  

Which brings me to the point of this post, though without much logic (because I just pissed off the non-dominant side of my brain):  my seven daily sanes. 

At the beginning of the year I made a pact with myself to try and adhere to seven simple daily actions to at least keep me PAR with my current state of being a content and mostly at peace, inappropriately tight size fourteen, moderately energetic, non-running,  successful business owner, hippy chick goddess. I call them ‘My Seven Daily Sanes’.   

  1. Pages
  2. Grats
  3. Yoga
  4. Medication (whoops I mean MEDITATION)
  5. Veggies
  6. Water
  7. Walks

Now I’m not gonna lie, this list has been much harder to check off each day than last year’s list: 

  1. Grow my hair

I have been doing number one of the seven pretty regularly for over 14 years. Julia Cameron taught me in “The Artist’s Way” how important it is to check in with myself with morning pages (or what I sometimes refer to as morning vomit). Three pages of handwritten words unedited (especially by the asshole left brain) and unfiltered. I notice, on the rare days I skip this ritual, that I feel like I do when have two different colored socks on or a black bra with white panties: off kilter. The first two pages are almost always whining yucky stuff, but usually by page three I have some kind of weird little break through, like “maybe I should stop eating cookies at midnight” or “you really need to quit this job and form your own business and here is the first step toward that”. 

Grats is a newer thing that has helped center my thoughts on positive things in my life (especially after the nasty brain vomit). Every day: ten things I am grateful for. Then I write thank you ten times at the bottom of this list. I think these journals will be a good thing for my kids to read when I’m dead. Unlike the morning pages which really need to be burned. My grats contain things like: “I’m thankful I didn’t kill Grant yesterday because today he is so much nicer.”

Everything feels better when I practice yoga: my brain, my bones, my skin, my muscles, my joints, my soul. That’s all that needs to be said about that, except that it is my running from ten years ago: life saving. 

I have written a few posts about meditation as holistic medication. Some days I have time for a nice long guided mediation. Most days I just try and remind myself to breath in and out: 4 counts in, 6 counts out. Repeat until calm again. As a catholic, I have found the rosary to be a good form of prayerful medication. Keeps a person off the ledge.

OH VEGGIES. I know I need to eat more of you gross fuckers. It’s a quest I’m still working on. When I feel shitty I consult the last few weeks’ checklist and say to myself: “dummy, cheez-its are not veggies. This is why you feel bad.”

Water is often on my daily grats list but it’s usually in the form of being grateful I can wash my hair or take a hot bath/shower whenever I feel like it, something so many people don’t get to do. Those very people would willingly hydrate every day if they could. So this needs to be something I never take for granted. I have rarely known real thirst. But when I don’t drink water my face looks like a dried up old hag. So.

I added walking to the list because my Fitbitch is a total nag. She says I need to move more. Plus I have this new puppy Bella who needs to move or she gets grumpy. Right now I’m a gimp but the walking thing is wonderful. She and I have these amazing conversations about the best places to poop when you are a dog (she prefers the middle of the street with cars coming for a nice adrenaline rush), the scary house that she refuses to walk past (we now go around), and how some day soon she and I will maybe do some running but for now we will just piece the short walks gradually into longer ones. 

See?