Monday, October 31, 2005

Today's exercise

Well, today, I went to the gym after class. I walked for 3 1/2 laps and jogged for 1/2 a lap (I tripped earlier and the running hurt my ankle). I did 35 crunches and was on the bike for "fit test" at level 2 (about 2 miles).

tired....I tried to take a nap this afternoon, but I got a phone call from Hubby, the dog started barking, and then my mom called. I never get that much attention during the day except for when I'm wanting to take a nap. Go figure!

Friday, October 28, 2005

I don't get it...

My parents have NEVER supported me in the things I want to do. For example, when I went to college in 1987 right out of high school, I wanted to major in secretarial studies. My mom said NO! that I could do better than that. First of all, what's wrong with being a secretary? It's not a demeaning job in ANY way and I love that type of work. Anyway, being the good obedient girl that I was, I majored in English Education. My mom wanted me to be a teacher (or a preacher's wife). I went to school for one year and quit because I didn't know how to get away from a boyfriend that scared me and intimidated me to do things I knew were wrong (one of the wrong type of guys I dated). 20 years later, what is my major - Office Management! Why? To become an executive assistant, administrative secretary, etc. Same thing I wanted 20 years ago - except if I had majored in it when I first wanted to, I'd be making some big bucks by now.

My brother has a pipe dream of being a pro golfer - has for many years. He even went to college to play golf and played against Tiger Woods when he was in college. Yeah, they played together and when Tiger went Pro, my brother said Tiger wasn't ready. Sounds like sour grapes to me. My brother's problem is that he doesn't work at it. He has the skill and the talent, he's just lazy and doesn't want to put forth the effort needed to play at that level. He isn't motivated. Anyway, my parents have always backed him up in EVERYTHING. Did they think he needed the boost to his ego and that I was okay and didn't need their approval? Boy were they wrong.

He has such a pipe dream that will never come true yet they back him 100%. I have a "dream" that has every possibility of coming true, and they can't even back me up at all. I just don't get it. My brother has even changed his dream to be something more likely to come true, but he still isn't putting any effort into it. I don't think it will ever happen. I will be graduating from college in Aug and my parents are trying to push me to get a Master's degree instead of just being proud of me for going back to college after almost 20 years - which in itself is not an easy thing to do -, and for sticking it out to graduation. I can never seem to do enough to please them, make them proud of me, or even just accept me for who I am.

I just don't get it. On top of that, I was the "perfect daughter". I never got into trouble - okay once when I let a boy climb in my bedroom window when they weren't home (he told everyone at school about it - a church school, so since my parents didn't want me to get kicked out for something that didn't happen on school property, they made me go to the pastor and tell him what happened - real nice and supportive, huh?). My brother was always getting into trouble. I got straight "A's" and if he got a "C", my parents got all excited about it. If I got anything less than an "A", I was told that "you can do better than that". What's really crazy about all of this is that my brother got better SAT scores than I did - only by a few points, but he still did better than I did and they were so happy with his "C's" - go figure!

Yes, I am 36 years old and this stuff is still bothering me. I really need to let it go. It would be easier to let it go if my parents weren't still pushing me to succeed to what they think I need to be. Neither one of them graduated from college - my mom didn't even go. My brother didn't graduate from college, so why can't they just be proud of me for where I am and what I am doing instead of trying to push me further? I am happy and content just to be graduating after all these years (especially since I didn't get a high school graduation - another long story that has a lot of hurt feelings for me). What a life! I told you at the beginning that I have been through a lot. Are you starting to believe me yet?

Hubby and I went to a new Indian restaurant tonight. I didn't like it at all. It was too spicy and all the food looks like slop. Maybe it was just the way they made it, but I've heard it is one of the most authentic and best Indian restaurants in this part of the state.

We did not work out tonight. I am having a problem with one of my wrists today and one ankle. What a mess!

I'm going to quit writing for tonight. I obviously still have alot more to work through than I thought. I assumed I was past all of this - you know what they say about assuming. I was fine until I talked to my mom on the phone today. She went into how I should get a Master's degree and why...I thought she would never quit. I just want them to leave me alone. I'm going to make my own decision. I just want them to accept my decision for what it is - MY decision. They don't tell my brother what they think he should do - then again, he yells at them and I don't. I'm just way too nice and I internalize everything. Sometimes I wish I could be like my little brother. I think my life would be happier if I could just tell them to leave me alone when it comes to the decisions I make.

Things I realized this week

did 50 crunches
walked 3 or 4 laps (6.5 = 1 mile) - I don't remember which it was now
biked "fit test" level 2 (1.8 miles)

I don't think I'm going to keep a log of what I eat everyday. It made me realize that I am not eating enough calories - which could be why I'm not losing weight (my body thinks I'm starving it). I will be eatting more calories for the next few days to see if that helps.

Well, I've been working out this week and having some insightful realizations. Man! I hate when that happens. :-) Anyway, I finally realized why I gained my weight in the first place. I was never overweight growing up. Seeing my mom overweight made me realize that I didn't want to be overweight. I saw all that she had to go through and didn't want to go through that myself.

Anyway, I realized this week that I have gained weight as a safety mechanism. I use food to hide (which I'm pretty sure my mom does, too). I hide because I'm scared. I was sexually abused as a child, so I grew up with little to no self-esteem. I figured if one person in my family could hurt me instead of keeping me safe that I wasn't safe with anyone in my family. The worst part about the whole situation was that I was too young to really remember what happened, but I never felt comfortable with this relative, hated having to kiss him hello and good-bye everytime we saw him, and we saw him almost every weekend. I dated a guy in high school that hurt me often (emotionally) because he dated other girls at the same time. I usually dated the wrong type of guys because I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I then married a man that was also sexually abused as a child and he couldn't "perform" but we stayed married for 5 1/2 years. The last year of this relationship, I started working in a warehouse. During this time, I was getting all sorts of lude comments from guys I worked with which made me start wearing clothes that were too big on me to hide my body. After this, I was sexually harrassed by one of my bosses, so I found that I started eating unhealthily which then made me gain weight. Because of this, I started gaining weight and hiding myself so that I wouldn't have to deal with looks and comments from guys that make me uncomfortable.

I also realized that I need to start loving myself for who I am. I also realized that I do not know completely who I am. I know that I do not enjoy being alone (could be because I battle with depression). I love spending time with my family. They are the most important people in the world to me. I consider everyone I meet a friend (which has gotten me in trouble because I trust people long before I should). You would think that I had learned at an early age to not trust people, but I didn't. Anyway, I guess I still have stuff to figure out. I also figured that it would be theraputic to write it here because I don't think anyone would actually read my blogs, but it gives me a place to release things. I can look back in years to come and see just how far I have come.

Hubby and I are planning on working out when he gets home and trying out a new restaurant. I'll write more later to let you know how it went.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Daily exercise and food

Well, today I had a presentation to give. I think it went pretty well. One thing that is surprising me is that I have not been stressing over my presentations this semester. I haven't even been practicing them, but I have done well on them. I got a 98 on the group one I did earlier where the one guy didn't do anything. I also got a 76 on the midterm for that same class.

Walked 1 1/2 laps (6.5 = 1 mile)
Jogged 1 1/2 laps
Biked cool down for 1 mile
Biked "fit test" at level 2 for 1.5 - 2 miles
50 crunches

1 pkg oatmeal
1 snack pack fig newtons
1 (lc) chicken alfredo florentine
1 serving peanuts
1 serving cottage cheese
1 serving fruit
2 slimfast cookie bars
1 100 cal snack pack wheat thins
1 cup V8
1 cup milk
64 ounces water
20 ounces cherry coke

So far things are going well. I haven't been hungry, I haven't been hurting from the exercise. I guess taking a few advil before going to bed really helps. Who knew?

Monday, October 24, 2005

I Have a GOAL!!

Okay, I have decided today that I am going to lose 41 pounds and get my body in shape before I graduate from college August 13, 2006. I am 36 years old - will be 37 before the year is through.

When I was 28/29, I weighed what I will weigh once I lose the 41 pounds. I think that weight is doable since I was that weight long after I graduated from high school. I should be able to get back down to that size. I don't think that is asking too much.

I started working out today and boy do I feel it. My abs are killing me. I rode a crappy exercise bike today for 5 minutes at a fairly quick pace. I say it was a crappy bike because it's like 20 years old - wobbly, small foot pads, squeaks enough to give you a headache. I was also on another machine that uses your body as a counter weight that you pull up with your arms and kick out with your legs. I did 100 reps on that machine - 50 pulling normally and 50 pulling while curling my bicep. That was a good workout. I felt it in my legs and arms by the time I finished.

Tonight, I went to the gym on campus after my class. I walked/jogged 4 laps around the track (6.5 laps = 1 mile). I also did a lot of stretching out (which I don't do very often and need to do more of). I did 50 sit ups, and biked for another 5 minutes on a good bike that does a lot of stuff. I did the "fit test" on it which was a 5 minute program. I did it on level 1. I will try level 2 tomorrow and see how high I can go. My heart rate was doing very well during that bike ride.

I want to go from 186 pounds to 145 in 10 months. WOW! That's a VERY achievable goal. I can do that. I think I will also take my measurements and see how many inches I lose in that period of time.

I have been watching what I eat, but I have still been eating things I shouldn't. Hubby and I decided that when we go out, we will now order one meal and share it (restaurants always give you more than one person should ever eat anyway). One day a week we will go to dinner and eat what we want - within reason - so that our bodies aren't feeling like we are depriving them. If we crave something, we will eat just a little of it to satisfy the craving and that is enough.

I bought a bunch of "lean cuisine" type foods at the market yesterday along with pudding cups and fruit cups. This way, we will know exactly what 1 serving is. I have also been drinking one cup of milk and one cup of V8 each day along with taking a multivitamin.

I am going to use this blog to keep up to date on what I am losing (inches and weight), keep track of my exercise, and keep track of my food intake. Hopefully I can do this on a daily basis.

1 pkg instant oatmeal
1 granola bar
1/2 gyros platter with rice/meat/salad
1 "lean cuisine" (lc) pizza
1 slimfast cookie bar
1 (lc) macaroni and cheese
1 smoothie cup
1 cup milk
1 cup V8

Wish me luck. I will take my measurements and add them later.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Ranting and Raving

This has been a busy week. Hubby was out of town from Monday - Wednesday. I do not sleep well without him being home. My dog barks at every single little noise while Hubby is gone, so that was another reason I didn't sleep well.

I didn't have class Monday or Tuesday, but there was a lot going on for my Wednesday and Thursday classes. I had to take a test, 2 finding tests, and turn in 3 projects all for my Thursday class. I don't enjoy my Wednesday class at all!!!!

The teacher is boring, she speaks almost monotone, and she doesn't really teach but talk non-stop. The class is supposed to be Organizational Communication, but she is having us do a research project (she's doing a research paper and having her classes do all the leg work and interviewing basically - she has told us this). that is what the whole class is about. We aren't really learning anything. When she gives us a test, the questions do not make sense and are in huge research words instead of words students will understand. She took the questions from a test bank and didn't bother to read them from our level (I'm 36 - I'm not stupid, but that wording was nothing but confusing). She called it a quiz, but it was worse than any final I have EVER taken. Luckily, it only counts as a quiz/daily grade or the whole class would fail. No one did well on that stupid thing.

Anyway, I have a bunch of work I should be doing right now instead of writing this blog, but you know how it is. I don't really feel like doing it right now. I can work on it this weekend or even after work during the week. I need to find out what chapters I need to read for my Monday night class. We always have a quiz in that class. :-(

I have a dinner to attend tonight where my workplace is being honored by my university because of all the co-op students they allow to work for them and usually end up hiring on full-time once they graduate. I happen to work there right now as well (part-time) but not through the co-op.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sadness and Joy

Sadness - Hubby is going out of town tomorrow morning and will be returning sometime on Wednesday.
- I have homework to do for my classes due Wednesday and Thursday.

Joy - I do not have classes on Monday and Tuesday so I will have plenty of time to do the homework that is due.

Sadness and Joy - I will be starting a diet tomorrow. I'm thinking for the next few days (maybe the first week or so) to do the slimfast thing as a quick start with eating a few healthy snacks during the day - two or three.

I'm planning on working out to some degree each day - about 30 minutes (jumping rope, excersize video, walking, or old cheerleading routines). I will drink at least one 8-ounce glass of skim milk a day, one 8-ounce glass of V-8 a day, and maybe 2 snacks (granola bar or popcorn - no more than 125 calories worth each).

On another note, we have decided to visit my parents for Thanksgiving this year (this is like our ritual). We always go to my parents house for Thanksgiving because Hubby doesn't like going up there after Thanksgiving due to the weather we encounter, so that is usually our last visit of the year. It is also my Dad's birthday on the 25th (somewhere pretty close to Thanksgiving). We then spend Christmas with Hubby's family - which is especially cool now that K is around. We would hate to miss christmas with him each year.

I need to talk to my advisor at school sometime this week. According to my program, I am supposed to take one of two classes this Spring. The class that I want to take is supposed to be offered Spring only but it is not showing on the website as a course being offered this Spring. I really don't want to take the other course because it means I will have to quit the job I currently have (it's an internship). I need to see if they will let me substitute another class in its place. There are 2 other classes I would love to take in its place, but I have to see if it will be approved.

Here's hoping that everything works out with my schedule since I'm supposed to graduate this coming Summer.

Friday, October 14, 2005

My Favorite Sayings - yes, there are quite a few

"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome."
- Isaac Asimov

"Hard work wins over talent when talent doesn't work hard." - seen on a T-shirt

"No life is so hard that you can't make it easier by the way you take it."

Work as if you don’t need the money…Love as though you’ve never been hurt…Dance as if no one is watching!!

"It is not the goal but the way there that matters, and the harder the way the more worthwhile the journey." Wilfred Thesiger

"Being misunderstood by someone is vexation. Being misunderstood by everyone is tragedy." Liu Shahe

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid." - Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
- Emile Zola (1840-1902)

"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is." - Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." - Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."
- Henry Ford (1863-1947)

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'." - Yoda ('The Empire Strikes Back')

"Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed." - George Burns (1896-1996)

"Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by fighting back." - Paul Erdos (1913-1996)

"Dancing is silent poetry." - Simonides (556-468bc)

"In order to serve its purpose, a vision has to be a shared vision." Warren Bennis

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." - Plato (427-347 B.C.)

"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it." - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." - H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

"Talent does what it can; genius does what it must." - Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)

"The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed'." - unknown

"He who has a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'." - Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." - Voltaire (1694-1778)

"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." - George Washington Carver (1864-1943)

"How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself." - Anais Nin (1903-1977)

"Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact." - George Eliot (1819-1880)

"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." - Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859-1930)

"A friendship founded on business is better than a business founded on friendship." - John D. Rockefeller (1874-1960)

"You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it."
- Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)

"An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." - Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)

"Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down."
- Jimmy Durante

"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." - Jimi Hendrix

"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence." - Xenocrates (396-314 B.C.)

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." - Henry Ford (1863-1947)

"Everyone is a genius at least once a year; a real genius has his original ideas closer together." - Georg Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it" - Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

"While we are postponing, life speeds by." - Seneca (3BC - 65AD)

"Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." - Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth." - Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

"In any contest between power and patience, bet on patience." - W.B. Prescott

"Everything has been figured out, except how to live." - Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

"Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech." - Martin Fraquhar Tupper

"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." - General George Patton (1885-1945)

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

"If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?" - Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

"Few things are harder to put up with than a good example." - Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"Happiness is good health and a bad memory." - Ingrid Bergman (1917-1982)

"Always do right- this will gratify some and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)

"Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research." - Wilson Mizner (1876-1933)

"Opportunities multiply as they are seized." - Sun Tzu

"Never mistake motion for action." - Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

"Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

"The average person thinks he isn't." - Father Larry Lorenzoni

"Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century." - Lewis Perelman

"Dogma is the sacrifice of wisdom to consistency." - Lewis Perelman

"The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready." - Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

"Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions - it only guarantees equality of opportunity." - Irving Kristol

"After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one." - Cato the Elder (234-149 BC, AKA Marcus Porcius Cato)

"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." - Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935)

"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."
- Tom Clancy

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."
- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both." - Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), "The Prince"

"Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame." - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

"There is only one nature - the division into science and engineering is a human imposition, not a natural one. Indeed, the division is a human failure; it reflects our limited capacity to comprehend the whole." - Bill Wulf

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them." - Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"The truth is more important than the facts." - Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)

"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)

"There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." - Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

"Most success comes from ignoring the obvious." - Trevor Holdsworth

Home from Vegas

Well, we are home from Vegas. While we were there, we spent every penny we took with us (which to me was the plan to start with :-) - too bad my husband didn't feel that way. Although, he never stopped playing until his money was gone either and kept feeding my habit). We had a great time. We got in Saturday afternoon. We stayed at Mandalay Bay - a GREAT hotel. This hotel is one of the top end hotels on the strip. Thankfully, my husband's business is going to reimburse us for the hotel since he is staying here for a convention that is here at the hotel.

Monday evening we saw "Mama Mia" based on the music by ABBA. It was GREAT! There was a lot of humor. We bought the soundtrack of the original cat in London after the show. It was really good. Would recommend it to everyone.

On Tuesday, we saw the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur. That was a lot of fun. We bought the photo. Some of the guys that were in this were in the billboard for "Thunder from Down Under" (it's an all male revue kind of thing). Wouldn't mind seeing that show sometime. These guys were hot! All muscle, cute as heck, and had great six packs. Whoa!

We walked the strip on Wednesday night. Thought the strip would never end. We did not go to the end. We walked to the Bellagio and saw the fountain show and walked around inside. We saw the 1 million dollar glass sculpture - very pretty. It's suspended from the ceiling and looks like you're in a lilly pond. We also walked around the conservatory. It was fun - our legs were killing us. I think I walked more that night than I have in a year. Wore me out.

It's Friday, we're home, and I am still wiped otu. We did stay up pretty late each night - mostly because we were wound up and couldn't go to sleep, so we stayed up and watched some TV. I saw Mad Max with Mel Gibson and Road WArrior (I had never seen those movies before). They were pretty interesting.

Would love to go back to Vegas someday. I do miss the weather, but have to say, the humidity in the air here in TN keeps my skin from drying out and getting itchy. It's a swap, but I think it's a good one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Well, we're finally in Vegas. Have been since Saturday afternoon. We had a 4 hour flight. Boring, Crowded, but at least we didn't have a 2 hour layover. This was a non-stop flight. That part was great!

We are staying at the Mandalay Bay Hotel since that is where my husband's convention thing is and the company is paying for it (nice). This is great! It feels like we have been here for a week already and it has actually only been 3 days. I am definitely destressing and relaxing even though I am doing school work while I am here.

I have portioned out my gambling money so that I have about $50 a day to play with. Not too bad but it sure goes quick. I've won $100 but put it all back in the machines. I'm having fun. I'm not playing to win (or lose) just playing. I enjoy it. My husband doesn't understand it, but he knows I enjoy it, so he feeds me his cash as well. He can't stand losing his money and keeps track of what he's up and what he's down. I told him I only know what I have in my pocket. I don't keep track of winnings or losses. That's why I can just enjoy what I am doing. He still doesn't get it, but he gives me cash when I've lost all mine. I had $100 to play on yesterday because of winnings the night before (instead of my normal $50). In an hour, I was down to $40 without even realizing I put all that money in the machines and that was after stopping on a machine after winning $50. I stopped for the day, well, until Hubby came back from his meetings and classes. :-)

We went to dinner, saw the musical "Mama Mia" which was GREAT! We had a blast and bought the soundtrack. Wouldn't mind going again. The music was fantastic and the cast were VERY talented. Hubby gave me cash to play on. :-) I got him up to $100 and we cashed out. I told him he owed me $50 because he wouldn't have the hundred if I hadn't been playing the machines. I love my logic, he enjoys it at times, too. hehe.

Anyway, I've completed both "projects" for my Thursday night class and now only have 1 question to answer on my take home midterm for my Tuesday night class. I have to write step by step how to open and work more than one presentation in PowerPoint. That may take me a little while because I will have to do it while I am answering the question. The only other thing I have to do before we leave is an article review for my Wednesday night class which I'm planning on doing while Hubby is in classes tomorrow. I can study for my two tests on the long flight home.

When Hubby gets out of class today, we are planning on walking the strip a bit (we haven't done that yet) and going to Excalibur to see "The Tournament of Kings". This is where you eat with your hands, watch jousting tournaments, and call the servers "wench". It should be a lot of fun. Can't wait!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Looking forward to this week...

Well, I have spent quite a bit of time today doing laundry so I can pack for our trip to Vegas. Hubby has a training seminar at Mandalay Bay from Saturday - Thursday (including travel time). I can't wait. I haven't been to Vegas for 12 years. There have been a lot of new casinos since then. I bet a lot more things have changed.

I do have to take some of my school work with me. I have decided only to take what I absolutely need to stay up to date on all my assignments. 1) For my Tuesday night class, I have a take home midterm and work on my powerpoint presentation that will be given the week I get back. 2) For my Wednesday night class, I have a periodical review that is due along with a quiz when I get back on a film we saw this week. I also have to read and summarize two articles on corporate climate and corporate culture for this class. 3) For my Thursday class, I have two Projects as well as a midterm (over chapters 1-6) and a quiz that will all be due the week I am out.

Technically, the items due for my Tuesday class can wait until I get back because my college is on Fall Break the Monday and Tuesday after I return. Because of this, I have a midterm I need to take the day after I return in my Tuesday afternoon class and my Thursday night class. All my Thursday night class items will be due the day after I return and then I can get the next assignment so I can work on that for the following class.

What a mess. Even writing all this out is confusing me and making me realize that I have a lot to do while I am gone and a lot that will be due as soon as I return. Thank God for the slot machines. I'm gonna need a break and I am looking forward to this trip. So much so that I haven't slept well the past 3 nights. I've been tired around 9:00, go to bed around 10:00, then stay awake laying in bed until midnight. I wonder what time I will be able to fall asleep tonight - of course, I want to watch Ghost Whisperer, Threshold, and Numbers before I go to bed. I know where my priorities are. haha.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Why is it that...

airplanes give you a floatation device and not a parachute? Sorry, that's just something I've always wondered.

Why is it that no matter what I talk to my mom about (when it comes to something that's bothering me) I never feel better afterwards? She makes me feel like I should not have wasted my time talking to her about it. She just drags me down emotionally instead of helping me with whatever is bothering me at that moment. It's not like I'm just complaining. It's usually a bonafide problem, but it never helps to talk to her.

Why is it my own family doesn't understand me? I don't get it. It's not like I'm that difficult to grasp. I have lots of airheaded moments - I grew up in California, the sun did something to my brain cells (I swear!). I don't always know what's going on in the world around me (I blame that on the California sun as well). I just don't fit in my own family.

Maybe it's because I've had a very different set of experiences than anyone in my family. I definitely went through things that they never went through. Those things made me question everything from a very young age. It's actually amazing that I am still naive and trust anyone. I actually put my trust in people way too quickly and then am completely surprised when they hurt me. You'd think I'd learn my lesson by now, but oh well. I'm way too old to change that aspect of my personality. I am who I am. Thankfully I still trusts people even when I learned at a young age that those that are supposed to love and protect you can hurt you the most and in the worst ways.

It's amazing how an experience will change you even without your knowledge. I know that I am the person I am today because of the things I have gone through and my reactions to those circumstances. If one of my reactions or experiences were changed, I would be a completely different person today.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

2nd oral presentation this week

My second oral presentation for the week is finally complete. The team did pretty well for the most part. The one that didn't do hardly anything had a hard time with his speaking part, but hte rest of us did very well. We tried telling him all the things he needed to know so he could talk about it, but he got everything wrong because he wasn't prepared. It would have been better if it were just the three of us.

Well, we're getting ready to go to Vegas next week. So excited! We bought a suitcase at Target tonight - on sale for $30 from $79. Not too bad. It looks great, too. It's navy.

Looking forward to getting out of town for a while even though I will have a lot of classwork to get done while I am away. I have a midterm to take Thursday before I leave. I have a take home midterm that is due when I get back and another midterm to take as soon as I get back. I also have two projects in one class due when I get back. I have a lot to do, but I will be away from everything, so maybe I will feel a little more relaxed even though I will be doing a lot of work. The plane ride is 4 hours, so I can get quite a bit of reading done on the plane both ways.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Ugg! What a day

Today was crazy. I actually had an individual presentation on a manager to give in tonight's class. It didn't go too badly. I got through it and even threw in some humor. Glad that's over.

Tomorrow I have a group presentation - interpretation: group from hell. That's not quite true. The majority of the group and project went surprisingly well. It was just one guy in the group. He couldn't make any decisions for himself. The decisions he did make for this "office building" didn't look like a business but more home office. So we pretty much scrapped what he did and chose the furniture ourselves.

All he had left was to choose the overhead lighting. He called me today to ask to get together so I could help him make his decision. I told him he needed to make this decision and wouldn't meet him. He then told me that he chose about 6 and wanted our opinions. I asked him if he had one he liked the best - he said he did, so I said that was our light. He then wanted me or one of the other group members to go to a lighting store to get approximate pricing for it when he's had 2 weeks to do it and could have done it this past weekend.

I am so disappointed. I thought this project with him would be different because he seemed to be more enthusiastic about it. When it came down to it, it was same old same old. So disappointing.

The members in the group give points to the others in the group. Our group decided to give him only 15/25 points since he didn't make any meetings outside class, didn't make any decisions on the project (even the things he chose, he gave us multiple choices instead of just choosing one), and he never had his things done when he said he would.

Anyway, enough ranting for today. Now that I have written all of this out, maybe I can let it go and forget about it.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Important to know

When your faith differs from your parent’s religion, you are not alone. When the people you thought were supposed to protect you hurt you instead, you are not alone. When you feel that you cannot tell your parents your thoughts for fear that they will not understand or will reject you, you are not alone.

These are all things I have gone through and lived with as well. While I was growing up, I questioned my parent’s religion, but I did not mention anything to them about it. I was afraid that they would be upset or wouldn’t understand what I was going through. Now that I’m older and my parents know my beliefs, I have found that I was right in thinking my parents would not understand me. Even though my parents do not understand me, I do know that they still love me. They just do not know what to say to me sometimes because they do not understand my thought processes.

Now that I am older, I have found that there are people that do understand what I have gone through and what I think in regards to religion and faith. These people are not family, but they have become very good friends because we have thoughts in common. You can always find someone who feels and believes the way you do. It just may take a long time to find them. Don’t get discouraged; don’t give up; you are not alone.

Rants of a Receptionist

Receptionist Humor

Does this sound familiar? Can you tell me how long Mr. X will be on the phone? Can you walk to his office and let him know I’m calling?

Why is it everyone that calls into an office thinks the receptionist has ESP and knows every little thing about everyone in the office? The receptionist cannot see through walls. They do not have any extra minutes in their day to time each phone call every individual makes during the day. No, we do not know how long the person you wish to speak to will be on the phone!

If a person does not come in or out of the office through the door at the receptionist’s desk, the receptionist has no idea if the person is still in the office, if they've ever been in the office that day, if they are out of the office or when they will return to the office. We can page for each individual if you would like, but we cannot guarantee the person you want to speak to will answer the page. Plus each time we page, we are interrupting the work of everyone in the office.

Yes, if a person in our office does not want to talk to you, we (as receptionists) will tell you they are away from their desk, they are in a meeting, or they are out of the office even though they may be standing right next to us. We will offer you the use of their voice mail. Please use it. If you leave a message with the receptionist, we will only call their voice mail and leave your message there anyway.

We do not see everyone every day. We can go days without seeing some people because they never come through the front doors. The only way we know some people are even in the office is when we call them to tell them you are on the phone.

Please respect the receptionist when you call. She is just doing her job. She is not a baby sitter or a hand holder. Usually she is the busiest person in the office because she has to open and deliver all the mail, answer and route all phone calls, some do the purchasing of all office supplies, some have to make sure the conference room is always in perfect order, some have to send out faxes, some do a lot of Word processing or spreadsheets for others in the company that either do not know the system as well or do not type as fast as the receptionist. She is busier than you can ever imagine if you have never been a receptionist. Give her a break! She knows how much you want to talk to a certain person, but there is nothing she can do about it if the person is on another call, away from their desk, doesn’t want to talk to you, or is not in the office.

Busy Week Ahead

I'm sitting here watching the race and realizing all I have to do for next week. I'm 36 and back in college+I work 15 hours a week on top of class+I'm married=busy, busy, busy.

I have an individual oral presentation to give Monday on a manager (3-5 minutes). Not too bad, but I don't like public speaking and never know exactly what to say in front of others. Tuesday, I have a group presentation in my first class and one of the people in my group has not been carrying his share of the burden. I don't know exactly what I'm going to say for this presentation either. We had to put together an office building including layout, furniture, lighting, walls, carpet and wall color along with all the filing cabinets and everything else. I actually have nothing due on Wednesday and my Thursday class has been cancelled. :-) Sometime during this week, I have to take a midterm for my Tuesday class because I will be out of town next week when the rest of the class will be taking the midterm.

I will be in Las Vegas! So excited. Can't wait. Need a break. While I am in Vegas, though, I will need to do 2 projects for my Thursday class, be ready for a midterm for my Thursday class, do a take home midterm for my Tuesday night class with an oral presentation due when I return, get ready for a test in my Monday class, and get ready for a test in my Wednesday class. I think I'm going to be extremely busy while in Vegas. Maybe this will help me keep from gambling too much - I only lose anyway.

Race Day

What is with Mark Martin always whining about everything? I cannot wait until he retires. He gets on my nerves. He talks about how he's afraid of restrictor plate races. If you're that afraid, you don't need to be out there. Fear can be a healthy thing, but too much is unhealthy and will get you and others hurt (especially in racing). Get a Grip, Mark, or Get out!

Junior's out of the race, so I guess I can go do something else now. I hate to see anything happen to J. Johnson, but who was he saying bashed into him? It looked like he ran into Sadler. Sadler didn't mention letting off the gas at all and the replay showed that Junior didn't get into Johnson until after Johnson hit Sadler. Whatever, just get over it.

Obviously, you can now see that all my posts are not going to be so deep or philosophical - aren't you glad? hehe.


Reflections (10/2/05)

It's amazing how much you learn about yourself just by reading what you have written in the past. I just got finished adding the "thoughts" I had written in years past to my new found "blog" page. As I read what I had written in the past, I realized that I have really grown as a person. I may not be proud of what I have written, but I can read the past, see where I was, compare that to where I am now, and see just how far I have come.

I know that I am not the only person that has/is going through what I have/am experiencing. I just hope by my putting all of this on the www that my experiences can help others that are going through the same things. I hope that when my niece and nephews get older and need advice that they may not feel comfortable asking family members, they can find somewhere on the web someone else that has been there and what that person did to get through it. I hope my blog will be a help to others in the same regard.

Someday I may write about everything I have been through to show that you can live through some pretty awful things and still come out unjaded, happy, and still trusting of others. I guess I still need to deal with it all myself and realize that I will not be judged for what I write here (it's not like the majority of people that will read this even know who I am). It's just an insecurity of mine that I am still working on.

May you all find the peace, happiness, and love you need in your lives.

6/27 & 6/28/05

June 27, 2005

I’m glad Jack writes notes on our journal entries. Sometimes my entries don’t make much sense to me because I “think” I’m going in the wrong direction, but when I get my journals back with his comments, I feel like I am on track and where I need to be. I think because I feel confused in my journey, my brain thinks it needs validation for the things I have learned about myself over the years. It seems that my path is obscure in a way. I know where I’ve been and, looking back, it all makes sense. I no longer try as hard to see where my path is taking me, but the present seems lost because I am trying to not pay attention to it but live it. Because it seems lost, having Jack’s comments and talking to Bob helps me see that my path is what it is. There are no wrong turns or bad paths to take. Wherever I go is where I need to be at that time.

We tried Tai Chi at the beginning of class today. I’m going to practice what we learn each day. I think it will help with my arthritis. I’m even thinking about seeing when it is offered next semester and take it so I can learn more. [I checked online and found that it is not offered when I can take it due to work and my other classes].

Liz talked today in class about wanting to understand it all. I think that is the wrong way to look at it. I “think” you need to stop thinking about it because we think too much, too hard, too long, and too deeply. When it comes to Eastern thought, we need to read it and read about it; we’ll end up taking things in without realizing it. We need to just accept it – what we get and what we don’t get out of it. Someday we’ll look back and realize we understood more than we thought we did as we were going through life’s situations.

June 28, 2005
All these movie stars state they are now Buddhists. How can that be? Don’t real Buddhists think of themselves without any attachment to label? My in-laws are Buddhists; they wouldn’t be able to tell you that. They believe in Buddha; have the monks over to bless births, new homes, and marriages. But if you asked them what religion they were, they would tell you they don’t have one. They take life as it comes. Nothing excites or upsets them. They go with the flow and just enjoy where they are each minute. I think that is true Buddhism. If Buddhism has no labels, how can a self-proclaimed Buddhist truly be Buddhist? I don’t get it except for the fact that our Western brains have told us we need to have a religion, we have to put a label on how we live (our “beliefs” as it were).

In “Being There”, the main character was useless to everyone but useful to himself. He had no highs or lows, no expectations from life or anyone. To Chance (I’m sure his name is appropriate for something in the Eastern philosophy – maybe that nothing actually happens by chance), North was a relative term. He thought he slept better facing north and then found that he was actually facing west. He slept well in that position and that was all that mattered. He doesn’t think about anything. He is just living his life doing what he does. Chance has no preconceived notions about anything. He is happy wherever he is no matter what he is doing. He takes life as it comes. In this society, I think it is difficult to become completely useless as Chance is but that could just be my Western thinking getting in the way. It seems it would be difficult because a person needs to “do things in order to make a living” for survival. I think it would be hard to find people in this day and age that would take in someone like Chance and let them live their own lives without having expectations placed upon them.

I think Chance is an enlightened one. He talks about the “Garden” as the other sages use the analogies from their own experiences to make their points. He speaks in regards to what he knows – his life’s experiences. Each person sees in Chance what they need to see at that specific moment in their own lives. Chance, like the Chinese sages, do not find it as necessary to speak but more necessary to listen. I think that is why everyone thinks he understands what they are saying in whatever language is being spoken. He listens more than he speaks.


June 13, 2005
I love this class! It has given me an understanding of what is inside me (what I’ve been searching for). It amazes me that the things I have written in my journal or talked to my husband about have been discussed in class bringing a new realization and understanding to me. I am much further along my path than I expected. Which is good. That means I’m not really stressing over my journey just enjoying it.

June 14, 2005
I don’t completely understand what we have read in the Three Ways of Thought…. It is interesting though. I get some of the concepts of the little stories, but I get confused on quite a few of them. I’m going to approach this book as my Zen Companion suggests which is not thinking on it too hard. Read the thoughts. If you get them, fine; if not, fine, move on. Some day I may reread them and understand the ones I didn’t understand the first time around.
I get confused on the names of the people. I’m unsure who is speaking sometimes (the narrative parts). It seems these gurus have more than one name. I am just letting this stuff sink in as I have never heard the majority of this stuff and will study it further after I graduate and have more free time on my hands. It’s amazing that even without ever hearing this stuff before, I pretty much understand what we talk about in class and the ideas we talk about mirror my own thoughts.

June 16, 2005
Trying to find the moral of these stories makes a lot of sense in regards to understanding. I’m sure the teacher probably mentioned this before, but today it sunk in.
We were talking about good vs. evil. I think it is actually the natural vs. the unnatural. If you allow yourself to live naturally, you will be compassionate, helpful to others, and not harmful to others. In Asian thought, everything is the same. I take this to mean that if you harm someone else, in essence, you are harming yourself. Some people look at it in Karmic terms and what you do to others will come back to you.

June 20, 2005
I started my paper this weekend. I was really having a hard time figuring out what to write about. The teacher said at the end of class Thursday that he wanted to know we were thinking about this stuff. I decided to write about what I got out of Siddhartha. There are a lot of things in this book that mirror the things I have learned, figured out, and experienced for the past ten years. Maybe it’s presumptuous to think I have been going through what Siddhartha went through (in my own way since it is my journey), but it is also overwhelming at the same time.


I always considered my in-laws to be “non-practicing” Buddhists. They know the monks in the M-Town temple; they have them over for blessings for marriages, births, moving to a new home, and deaths; yet they don’t go to the temple on a regular basis or do any other type of weekly ritual to show their faith. A few times a year, they will put food out for their departed family members, but I never thought they were devout. Since being in this class, I have come to realize that their lack of ritual shows their devoutness. If you were to ask them what religion they are, they wouldn’t be able to tell you. They don’t know it as a religion; they know it as a way of life. I understand now that living their lives is the best way to show their devoutness to Buddha. They are experiencing life and are not caught up in ritual or anything that they have to do.

I have realized through this class that I am further along my path than I thought I was and I am that far because I haven’t been thinking about where I am on the path. I’m just continuing on my path without regard to where I have been or how much I have learned. I am just experiencing the learning and the passing of time. I have also realized that I only say things like “God”, “hell” or whatever the case may be because that is what some people understand. I have realized that I do not have to believe in anything to follow my path. It’s hard to put these thoughts into words.

In regards to other religions, specifically the Baptist since that is what I know, I never understood how they could talk about the things you have to believe in order to be “saved” when the Bible states that you have to “have faith like a child” to get to heaven. Doesn’t that imply that you don’t have to believe in anything? Children accept things as they are without having to believe in it or understand it yet “Christians” are constantly saying that a person has to believe in “God”, believe Jesus died on the cross for their sins, and believe that He (Jesus) is the only way to get salvation. That seems too difficult for a child to grasp to me. They also state that “salvation is not of works” yet they constantly try to show their faith by the things they do: saying the sinner’s prayer, going to church every time the door is open, some women don’t wear pants, some don’t go to movies, some don’t listen to anything except religious music, and they go “soul-winning” where they go door to door trying to get people to their church and to say the “sinner’s prayer”. Isn’t that just works?

I have finally come to the realization that I have been looking for a label that encompasses my thoughts regarding life and “religion” and I have also realized that I no longer need a label. My thoughts are what they are, nothing more, and nothing less. I don’t have to believe in anything. Beliefs are hard to change when you, as a person, grow and change. It’s hard to let go of a belief, but thoughts and ideas change and expand as a person learns more through their experiences.


I had a great talk with my husband last night regarding the things I am learning in this class and the things I have written about in this journal. Talking with him made me realize that my greatest fear is that if I follow this path I will lose my family (parents and brother). Hubby made me realize that I no longer act the way my parents expect me to (when I’m around them) and that I haven’t for at least four years now. Realizing this showed me two things: 1) I have been on this path much longer than I realized and 2) I have not lost my family yet, so there is a very good chance I will not lose them at all. They don’t really know me or understand me, but they still love me in their own way. It also showed me that I am further down the road on my path than I thought I was even though I am not sure where I am or where I am going. At least now I can see where I have been. I have been searching and questioning my entire life. I just realized that it doesn’t matter if I find the elusive thing I am looking for. My journey is the quest. That is where I am and that is all that matters. I just need to keep seeking and keep pursuing. If I never find what I am looking for, it’s okay. I have learned a lot along the way. My journey is what matters not my destination. I think Siddhartha is a book that I will read many times in my lifetime. I’m sure I will pick up on new things depending on where I am in my life when I read it again.

We have been talking in class today about self. One thing that was mentioned was that self is the sum of our experiences. The experience isn’t happening to a thing. It is just happening. I have told many people in my life that I am who I am because of my experiences and how I have dealt with each situation. I have always thought that if you took away one of those experiences or changed my reaction to one of those situations that I would be a different person. We’ve been talking about how everything is the same. Westerners believe in dualism and Easterners believe in monism. If everything is the same, isn’t the afterlife just more life? Is that the thinking behind reincarnation? We learn new things by being manifested in a new “body” and have different experiences or reactions to those experiences than we did in the previous life. I can accept that. Is the learning process just as important as the journey? Actually, the learning process is the journey. They are the same.

Continuation (6/8/05)

How do you get rid of Western fear to accept the Asian way of thinking? I know it’s my fear holding me back, but I do not know how to conquer it. It’s hard to put my fear into words. I think I’m afraid of angering God (the Christian deity) by accepting the Asian philosophy. But the Asian philosophy makes so much sense. How much do I believe that it doesn’t matter what you believe only that you believe? Do I believe it enough to think of Christianity in a different way? Do I believe it enough to risk the afterlife? Asian thinking has been around longer than Christianity. More people believe the Asian philosophy than in Christianity. Do I think “God” will condemn them all to “hell” because they believe in Asian thought? No! Do I think my afterlife “soul” is more important than theirs? No! So why can’t I get rid of my fear and accept their way of thought? Am I still afraid of what others, specifically my family, will think? Should I let their judgments keep me from a fulfilled, happy life? No!

It amazes me how Hubby thinks. He does not consider himself to be a Buddhist or part of any other religion, yet what we’ve talked about in class is pretty much how he feels about life. Last night, he even used the analogy of the river to explain how life flows which is what I got from Siddhartha. Amazing! I have questioned religion my entire life. I don’t think any one religion is right or better than any other, so why can’t I accept another religion for myself? Why am I stuck in this rut? FEAR! I’ve got to get over that fear. Do you get over it by ignoring it? Hoping it will go away? How do you train yourself to accept another way of thought? Is it like a habit where the more you do it, the easier and more natural it becomes? Maybe that’s how I need to approach this (as a habit). Will I conquer my fear that way? There's only one way to find out. I need to try and see what happens. I need to retrain my brain and thought process.

I asked about the retraining of the brain in order to accept Asian thought in class today. He stated that a person would need a yogi for that. I don’t know that I am ready for that step yet. It is probably my fear talking. I think I would like to know more about Asian thought before I delve in completely. Maybe this class will give me the answers that I seek. Maybe it will help me figure out the questions I either don’t know how to ask or I am afraid to ask (of others as well as myself). I know this is all part of my path. I think I’m wanting to see farther down the road before I get there to determine if I want to continue. Instead of thinking about it, I need to just continue on my path and see where it leads me.

I don’t know how to verbalize (write) how I feel right now. I want to say that I feel confused, but I’m not sure that’s the right term to use. I feel lost to a degree. I feel like I am missing something I should know but I am not sure what that is. I guess I’m just in turmoil. I have been seeking something for the past few years, but I don’t know what I am seeking exactly. If I don’t know what I’m seeking, will I know it when I find it? I am looking forward to my meditation today. I did well yesterday concentrating on my breathing and saying “ohm”. I kept hearing the clock tick. I’m thinking about putting in earplugs to drown out all noise, but aren’t I supposed to do that on my own through meditation? Earplugs seem to be cheating to me or taking a short cut. Maybe I’m just thinking too deeply and too hard about all of this. I need to just take it as it comes.

Thoughts dated 6/6 Continued (6/7/05)

But every member should be loved and appreciated for who they are no matter what their thoughts, beliefs, station in life, or stage in life. I really enjoyed Siddhartha. I’m going to reread it after I graduate or when I have more time to let its truths sink in. This book showed me that everyone is on a journey. In a way it’s the same journey but in another way it’s a different journey because people could be looking for the same things, but are looking for those things in different ways. Some reach the destination they intend, but the majority of people do not reach the destination they intended or happiness they are looking for.

I am looking for completeness. I feel that there is something missing, but I can’t put my finger on it so I am searching different avenues in regards to “religion”. I do not believe completely in any one organized religion. So I am looking at different things to incorporate into my belief system. Not incorporating things into my beliefs but finding the words to express my beliefs. Or trying to find which religion most closely resembles my beliefs or thoughts. That’s what I’m trying to do, I think. It’s really hard to put into words what I am trying to accomplish in my life or why I am taking this class. I’m trying to open my mind, yet I feel that I am trying to hang on to the “Christian” God and I think it’s because I am so used to thinking of a deity in that way. Sometimes I just feel confused.

I look at things in a completely different way than anyone in my family and I wonder what makes my thinking so different. I need to just accept that it is the way it is, be content, and move on. It amazes me how close-minded people can be, and then I realize they are on their journey. I am on mine. I think this class will help me realize and accept this concept (thought) even more and will hopefully open my mind further to other ways of thought and living. I tend to schedule everything while my husband tries to get me to go with the flow. His family is always changing whatever plans we’ve made together and I get bent out of shape because I anticipate and look forward to whatever was planned instead of just enjoying the time we spend together no matter what we may do.

Thoughts dated 6/6/05 (Philosophy Class)

The world is full of fear. Parents pass on their fears to their children. Is it the world that’s full of fear or just the western culture and civilization that is full of fear? The Asians seem to be more at peace with themselves and the world around them. They live healthier lifestyles and they age more gracefully. Speaking of the world being full of fear…my mom is worried that I am going to turn away from Christian religion because I am married to a Laotian whose parents are (for the most part) non-practicing Buddhists and because I am taking this class.

Does she not realize I’m in my mid-thirties? Does she not realize that I have questioned our “religion” my entire life and that I have always thought there was more to life than just religion? Who’s to say any one religion is right anyway? Don’t people realize all religions are basically the same at the foundation but they have different names for their deities and “rules”? Why can’t people realize that it isn’t what you believe that matters? The most important thing is that you believe period. For the past few years, I have been trying to figure out exactly who I am and what I believe. I am slowly putting aside the fears I have that I have gotten from my family and learning to accept myself and my family for the individuals we all are. It’s hard to realize that your parents are just people trying to do their best just like everyone else.

I really like Siddhartha so far. His journey and quest reminds me of my own. He’s questioning his faith, his parents, his friendships, and himself. He feels that there is something more to life than what he has ever known or been told. I am finding that family is most important and realizing that each person is their own individual that has flaws and their own way of doing things and looking at things. What’s right for one person is not necessarily right for another person even in a family.

My beliefs (2/7/05)

My beliefs:
1) I believe in One God that made everything.
2) I believe that there is no ONE religion.
3) I believe that all religions are basically the same and that they just have different names for the same thing (i.e. God, Buddha, etc.)
4) Every religion is based on the same basic belief of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. They just use different words to express this.

Thoughts dated 12/4/04

Well…today is Bro’s 34th birthday. He and Wife are currently in California. Wife has orientation for her new teaching job at a University in Ventura on Monday, and while she and Bro are out there, they will be looking for a place for their family to stay when they move there at the end of this month. Hubby and I spent Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad’s with Bro and his family. It was nice getting together with them especially knowing that Bro and his family will be moving to California and who knows when we will see him and his family again.

I have finally come to the realization that my family does not, nor will they ever, understand or accept me fully. I have been fooling myself into believing that my dad understood me and that he did not agree completely with my mom in regards to how I know her to feel about me and my beliefs. I have finally admitted to myself that for them to be married this long, they must have the same beliefs on the basic of all levels (which is where I disagree with them). I did not admit this to myself, because I wanted to believe that I had one family member that, if not fully understand me then at least, accept me for the person I am. I now realize that no one in my family understands me and they will never accept the person that I am even though they will still love me. I need to accept this, move on, and not take it personally or dwell on the fact that I will never be accepted in my own family. How ironic that the one thing I ever wanted was acceptance from my family and I now realize that their acceptance will never be given to me.

Mom is under the mistaken assumption that Hubby is the reason that I am not in church even though I had not attended church for over a year before I met Hubby. I tried explaining it to her earlier this week. I told her that Hubby and I tried going to many different churches when we first got together, but that we did not find one that we felt comfortable in on a full-time basis. I told her that we found one that we did feel welcome in, but that it was so far away that we ended up not going as often as we actually would have liked. Mom said that we needed to find a church (any church) and attend regularly. Sadly, Mom means any Christian church not ANY church. She feels that all the non-Christian religions in the world are wrong and that all those people will not make it to heaven. She thinks the only people going to heaven are people from Christian faiths. I cannot get her to understand that it is faith that gets you to heaven, not the deity to which one puts that faith. Of course, this is one of the basic beliefs that I differ completely from the rest of my family.

I do not know where I got my beliefs or how I came to doubt the beliefs that were ingrained into me from my youth, but I do know that I have doubted my parents religion from a pretty young age. I always felt that there was more out there than what I was being taught. Since I have allowed myself to follow my own beliefs, I have been happier than I have ever been in my life. I firmly believe that if I was following the wrong path God would make sure that I could see the error of my ways and change them. Of course, my family would state that my being happy is a work of the Devil to make me feel a false sense of security in my beliefs to keep me from following the path that is actually right for me.

For the life of me, I do not know what I wish for Bro’s children. In one way, I want them to have the acceptance and love of their parents (even if that means believing the same way their parents do); but, on the other hand, I would love for these children to follow their own hearts including their own beliefs and use their own brains instead of following a crowd even if that crowd is their parents. But I would not like them to have to go through all the things I have gone through in my life because my beliefs differ from the rest of my family.

Poem "Remember 9/11" (9/14/04)


Each life lost
Brings to the family left behind
Mixed memories and emotions
Of the loved ones lost in time.

Should we mourn the lost
As heroes? Most had no voice
Regarding their plane that crashed,
They had no choice.

Because they had no voice
Should they be thought less
Than those that voted
On that terrible Day?

I say no.
Remember them all as heroes.
They are the lives we lost
For Democracy, they were the cost.

Poem "9/11" (9/14/04)


Do you remember
Where you were
When you heard
The fateful news…

The Twin Towers are gone
And the Pentagon
Was vulnerable all along?
Did that shock you, too?

Were you shocked to see,
Or was it just me?—
How evil some can be?

They used our planes against us.

Poem "Thoughts" (9/9/04)


My family are together.
I feel like odd man out.
They understand each other
But it makes me want to shout—

Open your minds!
Get out of your rut!
Think more deeply!
Think with your gut!

My voice stays silent
Because they will not hear.
Their minds are closed to me
Long year after year.

Poem "Contemplation" (9/9/04)


The world is lonely.
Nobody knows what
Is inside me
They cannot know.

Their minds are closed
But somehow mine is open.
I do not understand them.
They do not understand me.

I feel so all alone.

Those that should know
Me, do not know me
No matter that they try.
I’m learning to accept it.

But why should I?


We found out today that Ha has lost the baby. She went to the doctor today and found that the baby doesn't have a heartbeat. Hubby and I have decided to spend tonight at their house so we can watch K together while Ot and Ha go to the hospital for a DNC tomorrow. We are both heartbroken. We were so looking forward to this baby. If Hubby and I are feeling this bad, I cannot imagine how badly Ot and Ha must feel right now.

I called my mom so she could pray for the family during this time. For some reason, I never feel better after I talk to mom about anything that bothers me. She makes me feel frustrated – with her, not necessarily the situation. I can't believe the difference I feel when I talk to mom as opposed to talking to Hubby about bad things or things that are bugging me. It's amazing.

Life just doesn't seem fair. Hubby and I can't have kids. Ot and Ha have lost a baby. I have a family I don't feel comfortable talking to about anything important. And my family has no idea who I am or how to understand me.

What a crazy, mixed up life.

Family Frustrations (6/11/04)

Today, I spoke to my parents a little bit about the way I feel regarding Brother, Sis-in-law, and their children. I told them that I feel that Hubby and I are not given the opportunity to get to know their kids because we are not close enough to see them as often as we would like and on top of that, Bro and BroWife do not even send us pictures so we can at least see the kids as they grow. Mom said I should talk to Bro about it. I told her that Bro didn’t care. She and dad said that I shouldn’t feel that way and that he did care. I told them that I have felt he didn’t care for a long time. I told them that I have tried to get closer to BroWife by calling her and writing her little cards to let her know that I was thinking of her and that I haven’t had a thank-you or a response of any kind. I understand that they do not have a lot of money to make sure everyone gets a lot of pictures of the kids, but I am sure that her family, including her brothers, gets more than one wallet size photo. That is all Hubby and I get (one wallet to share between the two of us). I would be happy with a 3X5 or a 5X7. Anything that could be framed would be a great improvement. I know, too, that they do not have a lot of money to phone all the time, but a phone call every once in a while would be appreciated. I’m sure she calls her brothers and parents, but she cannot take a few minutes to call me. She leaves the calling to me. I am getting to the point where I am tired of trying to reach out and connect with them. It doesn’t seem to do any good for me to extend myself to them. It isn’t appreciated or even reciprocated. Why am I even trying? All I get for my effort is pain and hurt because I realize that they do not care to be close to us. I wish that W, D, and B knew us the way K does.

I wish the kids knew how much we love them as K does. What’s worse is that Bro is planning on moving back to California and taking his family with him. Then we will probably never see him or his children again. Needless to say, I cried on the way home today. I just want a family that loves me no matter what.

I always felt that my family was judgmental. I have always been afraid that no matter what I do, if I do something wrong, they will stop loving me. I have come to grips with my parents, but Bro is an even bigger judge than my parents ever were. Anyway, Bro and I haven’t been nearly as close as we were before I went to Pensacola. It seems we have done nothing but move further and further apart ever since I went to college right out of high school. It seems he realized while I was away at college that he didn't need me anymore. Hubby and I don't even get a thank-you from Bro's kids when we send them gift cards to pick out their own toys at Toys 'R' Us for their birthdays. I hear from my parents that the kids LOVE getting the gift cards but the only reason I know what D got with his gift card this year was because mom told me. I never heard anything from G(Bro) and M(BroWife) about it.

G has really disappointed me. I guess that since we were so close growing up that I expected we would always be close. My going away to college right after high school seemed to show G that he didn't need me in his life. I need to come to terms with the fact that G and I will probably never be close again. I miss our friendship. We used to be able to talk about everything. Now, it's like pulling teeth to talk to him about anything. All he does now is get upset and frustrated when we talk and then he hurts my feelings, makes me upset, and frustrates me. I give up. I feel that G has decided that I am not worth his time, effort, energy, or love. He's missing out on a great friend. I have a lot of experience in things that he could never imagine. Things of the heart, things that I have kept inside, frustrations, and disappointments are all things that I could discuss with G and maybe pave the way for G to be able to deal with these things if they were ever to come up with his children; but he refuses to give me a chance. I guess with G it's "out of sight, out of mind".


I have had Dr. Phil’s book Self Matters for about two weeks now. I have had a hard time getting started on it. I have picked it up, read a few pages, highlighted passages, and put it back down. It seems as though I know deep down that I am going to have a LOT of HARD work ahead of me and I am reluctant and afraid to get started. I finally got to the part today where you evaluate your authentic self with your fictional self in two tests.

Let’s just say I did very poorly on both evaluations. The first one where you answer 38 questions and can score from a 38-142, I scored a 68. There were a few questions where I have been noticing things about myself the past few months and have been trying to work on them on my own. On those questions, I was between the “most of the time” for the fictional self and the “most of the time” for the authentic self. Sometimes I just gave myself a 2 for those questions, sometimes a 3. On the second quiz where you circle the words that you feel describe the “ideal” you, I circled 110. When I went to circle the words that I felt actually described me, I cried while I was reading the list because I felt as though very few of those words described the person I am today. I circled a disappointing 17, which took my congruency to 19 percent.

This has shown me that I am nowhere near the person I wish or would like myself to be. I have a lot of room for improvement. Maybe my improvement needs to be in the area of my own perception. Maybe I have the traits I want, but I don't realize that I have them. I have turned off the TV and have decided that I am going (until 3:00 p.m. - so I can watch Dr. Phil and get some things done around the house before my husband comes home from work) to commit today to my inner self. I am going to read this book today. I am going to take a good long hard look at the person I have allowed myself to become and to concentrate on the person I can and want to be.

Dear Mom & Dad (3/11/04)

Dear Mom and Dad,
I just wanted to take this time to thank you for doing your best raising me. I know that I am the person I am today largely because of your influence and your teachings. Growing up, I may have been upset or hurt because I was so sheltered and wasn’t allowed to do a lot of things I wanted to do, but now I realize you had your rules and everything in place out of love for me and you were doing your best to make sure I grew up to be the best person I could be.

I know that sometimes, even recently, I felt you treated Brother and me differently. I now realize it is because we are different people who may need love to be shown in ways different from the other. Thanks for taking my individuality into account.

I love you both very much for everything you have done for me (the hard times, easy times, good times, all of it). I hope when all is said and done you are proud of the woman I have become and am continuing to grow to be. I am proud of who I am and the person I know I will one day be and I know it is largely because of the roles you have played in my life.

I love you, and thanks for everything!!


I’m sitting at my computer waiting for the day to end. I have scanned so many files, that I don’t know where to begin. My eyes are getting blurry and my back is starting to ache. I need to change my scenery and give myself a break!

Sometimes I feel alone and no one seems to care. At times I want to be alone and no one will let me. I love my job and what I do, but at times I’d like more responsibility. Then I remember with more responsibility comes the chance of messing up more and I enjoy what I do even better. There are times I think that I can’t handle things on a daily basis, but other times I feel as though I can take on the whole world. I would love to be someone’s assistant and get to know them better one on one, but I also know that with that knowledge comes the responsibility that if that person is having a bad day, I am going to have to make it better. And if things are going wrong, I take the chance of shouldering the blame and responsibility for it all.

Dated 11/29/01 - My how I have changed

Today is Thursday. It is raining and overcast outside. I am sitting at my desk at work, and I am wearing my San Francisco sweater with a pair of jeans. I am chewing gum and listening to Faith Hill sing “This Kiss” on my MP3 player.

I have been looking through a body and spirit magazine talking about holistic living. Sounds pretty interesting. I even dog-eared a few pages because I want to look over it all again later. Thinking about incorporating some of it into my life. I feel that I need some kind of positive change in my life. I will be 33 years old in about two weeks. I think I am finally ready for my journey of discovering me to begin. I have actually started it prior to this. Hubby has been a tremendous help in that regard. He has helped me face a lot of the pain of the past and I am doing a good job. I was going to say I’m starting to feel better about myself, but I am doing a good job. I’m going to try to put my true self into everything that I do – which means, I need to realize and think about what I am going to say before I say it. I want to stop using words that I don’t mean – curse words and lies, especially. I am going to send this to the house so that I can work on it more tonight.

Acuna Matata just came on the MP3. No worries, I like that. I’m starting to include that in my life and just take life as it comes and enjoy it as much as possible. Some days it’s easier than other days. I have been doing well on Weight Watchers, I could do better, but I get lazy and tend to use food as a crutch for my moods. I am going to stop before I eat things and ask myself why I want whatever it is. If it is because I am sad or bored, I will do something else to make me happy and give me something to do. I have plenty of hobbies at the house that I have started and have given up. I think I’ll pick some of those back up. Keeping my hands and mind busy will keep my thoughts off food. Hubby has also moved one of the exercycles into the living room. I think I’ll give that a shot, too. Exercise is always good. I would like to do more things in life, have a more active life. I need to get away from the TV. Tonight would be a good time to start since Hubby will be at school until 8 or 9. I also need to start cleaning the house more often instead of leaving it to Hubby to do. I have really taken him for granted and I need to take some of the stress and pressure and daily grind off him and start picking it up myself. I stopped because I felt that I couldn’t do anything right, but now it’s more because I’m lazy and have gotten into the habit of letting things go until Hubby does it himself. That is so wrong of me. I ‘m going to work on that as well.

Thoughts dated 5/23/01

As a child, I didn’t understand much about my parents. I wasn’t able to see them as people with dreams, like me. I didn’t see them as individuals. They were my parents. To me, that was enough. Some of the things that I enjoy, I don’t do much of anymore. I love to sing, read, play piano and write poetry. I haven’t written poetry in over five years now. I don’t know why. I guess that sometimes as you’re living life, a few things tend to fall by the wayside. Maybe I felt that I didn’t deserve to enjoy the creative things that I loved. That sentence will tell you a lot about me if you think about it. At this time in my life, I am insecure. I have always been insecure about everything. I am getting better at realizing that I deserve to be happy, but I am not quite where I want to be or where I hope to be. You see, I am thirty-two years old as I write this to you. I have been married twice, divorced once. I had a few bad relationships that made it hard for me to love myself and to realize that I deserved to be loved by others. I always felt that I had to please others and be what they wanted and expected me to be. It is hard to live a life by other’s expectations of you or their standards.

You need to live your life in a way that you will be proud of. A life where you can look back in years to come and realize that you did the best that you could and that you are not ashamed of the choices you made. As I am writing this, I just realized why I no longer write poetry. It isn’t because I think I don’t deserve to have anything creative in my life. It is because all my poems were written because I was trying to bring love into my life and talk myself into believing that I deserved to be loved. I have stopped writing poetry because I have found the love that I felt was missing in my life. I now know that I am loved and accepted for who I am. He loves me faults and all. He has helped me realize a lot of things in my life and has gotten me through a lot of hard times emotionally. I think that now I can start to write poetry again, but this time, I can write about everything not just love which I felt was missing from my life.

My first...

This is my first blog...please be patient with me...

I have been trying to figure out who I am. I am 36 years old and am currently a junior in college. I went back to school in 2003 to get my degree in office management. I am excited. It took me forever to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I now know that I would love to be an executive assistant or some secretarial position along those lines.

I took a philosophy class this past summer and loved it. It was Asian (Eastern) philosophy. I learned a lot in that class. I learned that things are the way they are. It doesn't matter where your journey leads you, it only matters that you are on your journey and where you are at this moment. I struggle with that. I want to know what it going on at all times. When I get up in the morning, the first thing I do is figure out what I'm going to do for the remainder of that day. I really need to stop that. It doesn't matter what I do. It only matters that I do.

I learned in that class that people learn through their experiences. It doesn't matter how they experience things. Like kids for example..they don't have to know to sit in a chair. They enjoy standing in chairs. They are experiencing the chair in their own way. Instead of telling a child to sit down, we need to tell them to be careful. They will soon learn that a chair is for sitting, but why take away their natural curiosity? Why tell them they have to experience things the way we experience them? Why can't we just let children be children and realize that they will do things a different way until the world puts its stamp on them? Do we have to make children conform to the adult world before they are adults? Don't we want them to be their own individual with thoughts and experiences unique to them?

I also learned in that class that the only person I need to impress is myself. I don't need to worry about what other people think about me. I do not need to live up to anyone else's expectations. I tend to put high expectations on myself because I think that is what others expect. I am finding out that the person that has expectations of me is myself.

I wrote some thoughts down while I was taking this class and may end up posting those here and add the dates that I actually wrote them. I think they may help not only myself but others that are searching for something more as well.