Goals

For years, I have made a list of my desires or my goals. I have done this since college. I don’t know why, but it’s something I have always done. It helps me keep my actions focused. I have not achieved all the goals I have set for myself, and the list is constantly changing as I grow and change. Another thing I have figured out with time is that the list has to remain fairly small. I can’t do everything that I want to do simply because there isn’t enough time.

My mom has her desires all mixed up right now. She hasn’t lived with her husband in two years because they couldn’t find jobs in the same town. So she lives in one town and he lives in the other, and they commute to see each other on the weekends. And here’s the kicker: she doesn’t even like her job very much and I bet two-thirds of her salary goes to maintaining a second household, commuting costs, and employment costs (such as a wardrobe, gasoline, etc), so it’s not worth it emotionally or financially. Every time I have talked to her on the phone for the last two years, she has cried. She finally has decided to quit her job and move back in with her husband.

I think this exercise of writing down what she really desires out of her life would be helpful to her. Sometimes, people can’t see. I certainly didn’t see how much I disliked living in that small hovel of an apartment and how unhappy it made me.

My newest list:

The List of Desires

1) I want a clean, organized, uncluttered, warm, inviting, cozy home.

2) I want to finish Belief and Code, and I want it to be significant and beautifully written.

3) I want to successfully self-publish Belief and Code, preferably through Wizard Moon.

4) I want to follow our budget, get ourselves out of debt, and start saving for an emergency fund, retirement, and Lily’s education.

5) I want to get an MBA in Accounting from a nationally ranked university.

6) I want to lose weight and get fit.

7) I want to dress in fun clothes and keep my appearance attractive.

8) I want to learn more about economics, personal finance, and taxes.

9) Long term goal: make money as a writer and/or as an accountant so I can pay someone else to do my housework.

That last one was added on because of my dad. My dad has never liked working– ever. He has always been unhappy in his job, and he only does it to pay the bills. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and makes a very decent salary, so it’s not like he is slaving away on a factory assembly line somewhere. But I have never understood this mentality. There are a bazillion jobs in the world. Surely one of them would give him enjoyment. If he doesn’t like his job, change it. If he doesn’t have the training for it, get trained. There are endless opportunities in our society to take advantage of.

And then I was thinking what my job is: housewife. Parts of the job I enjoy. I like cooking nice meals for my family; I like working on the family projects; I like running the household and taking care of all the house business. And I hate the house cleaning. Absolutely hate it. I have tried to change my outlook on housework, but the best I can do is bring it from “hate” to “dislike.” So then I thought, I would much rather spend my time as a writer or an accountant than doing housework. And that’s where Desire #9 came from.

Desire #7 comes from the fact that I have been a shy, gray, little mouse, hiding in the corners. I want to have fun with my appearance. I’ve been a wallflower long enough.

November 30th, 2004 | General | No Comments -

Money sites

So I’m responsible for the money in the house. I balance the check register, pay the bills, etc. So I am the one that reads money books and surfs money sites.

And the money sites piss me off. So I go to check out the MSN money site as it is the site most folks visit. And there is an ad on the front page that pops up from Bank of America offering to give you a loan. It says something like “What would you do with $25,000, $50,000, or $75,000?” Do you realize how badly Americans are in debt? Matt and I are no exception. And I’m not talking about debt that makes sense like a house loan or a student loan. I’m talking about credit card debt and unsecured bank loans like the one that advertisement was offering.

We get junk mail as well that does the same thing. I received two in one day. The one I remember better was from Wells Fargo. It said stuff like “We want to help you with your financial future” and then went on to offer low apr loans with the equity in your house as collateral. Putting a lien on your house so you can buy stuff you can’t truly afford — that is how they are going to help you with your financial future?!! And the way they word it. “We want to help you.” That isn’t helping anyone but themselves. It should say, “Put your financial future at risk so we can make money off you.”

Anyways, it just pisses me off. So many people, young people in particular, don’t know much about money. That’s how Matt and I got ourselves into the debt that we are in today. We were clueless about money, and we mortgaged away our financial security (and a bit of our happiness because financial security makes you feel safer and therefore happier) to buy stuff on credit — stuff we couldn’t afford and didn’t truly need. We just wanted that stuff which is a terrible reason. And these banks and credit card companies feed off that naivete like vultures — like ugly, scary vultures wearing suits and masks of smiling business men. “Oh, look at that one who just walked in — a young man of 25 who is about to get married. This will be too easy…”

They need to teach money management in schools. These 18-year-olds graduate from high school and head into their financial future like lambs to the slaughter.

November 28th, 2004 | General | 4 Comments -

Writing fever

I’ve been in the mood to write recently. But I have so much work still to do on the house before the baby comes. But I really do want to write a novel. And not a crap novel… I mean, a really decent piece of work. I want to take the time, patience, and work it would require to create something… well, something that I would really be proud of.

So I may start taking time out each day to write a bit. Sure, the house may go a bit slower, but it’s going slow now because I’m such a huge procrastinator.

It’s 5:30 in the morning. I lay awake in bed from 3:30 to 5:00 and finally got up. Insomnia and the pregnant woman. I would have gotten out of bed sooner, but both Lani and Raven were snuggled up against me with their warm, furry bodies, sleeping peacefully. Snuggly pets are the best, but they do make it harder to get out of bed. 🙂

November 26th, 2004 | General | No Comments -

Embarrassment and Love

I just talked to Mom and asked her about Carla’s pregnancy. She said that she spent a lot of time with Carla and that Carla received a lot of gifts as well. Phew! Now I feel better. Mom said, “Remember, I spent six weeks with her, fixing up that house– doing the bathroom and fixing up Logan’s room.”

I think I am just feeling embarrassed about the amount of attention I’m receiving and the amount of gifts!! You get so many gifts when you get pregnant! We haven’t even had a shower and people are constantly bringing us things. It’s so very very very sweet of our family and friends. We’ve only received second-hand stuff which is what I told people to give us. I would feel doubly embarrassed if people bought us new stuff. But still, so much! And then Deb came down last weekend and made that beautiful baby room for us.

I feel… well, I feel very loved at the moment. So much love from so many people helping us bring this baby into the world.

November 24th, 2004 | General | No Comments -

Memes

We all have our insecurities. For girls and young women, our main insecurities center around our looks which is understandable (and sad) in American society. Thank goodness that goes away as we get older. I feel so sorry for girls in their teens and twenties because I know what they are going through — I went through it. Always feeling not pretty enough and therefore not worthy. But I can’t help them. Words make no difference as girls go through that painful and horrible stage, only time and age does.

But, recently, I have been going through age insecurities. You see, I’m middle-aged now; I’m 36-years-old. I’ve been feeling like I’m uninteresting and unexciting to other people. Oh, look at that frumpy middle-aged woman. She’s no more interesting to be around than a lump of coal.

And these thoughts have also centered around the internet. I’ve always enjoyed the internet and had my tiny cyber presence. But I have felt like an uncool old person around all the hip youngsters who inhabit the internet. I have watched cool new net words come and go (Remember “grrl”? And I can’t wait until “kewl” disappears — that one really annoys me), watched the technology advance and change, watched the teens flood onto the internet and create their wonderful, creative communities where they chat in their kid shorthand which I find fascinating. I have watched 133t go from something mocked to something cool.

And I have felt more and more old and gray and useless as I watch all the changes. It reminds me of a quote from Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash: “Hiro cuts across the Hacker Quadrant, headed for Da5id’s table. He recognizes many of the people in here, but as usual, he’s surprised and disturbed by the number he doesn’t recognize-all those sharp, perceptive twenty-one-year-old faces. Software development, like professional sports, has a way of making thirty-year-old men feel decrepit.” I feel “decrepit” and I’m only 36-years-old.

But, I was thinking today that maybe I am wrong about the demographics of the internet. The internet has become such a large community that it isn’t just college students and teenage hackers anymore. I think the age-range is much broader now. I can’t be the only one that remembers surfing the newsgroups from a VT100 terminal or trying out the <blink> tag because it was new.

Heh heh, I seem to be having a hard time coming to terms with middle-age. This, of course, is another well-documented psychological phase. If I were a man, I would be at risk of buying a red sports car and a pretty mistress.

Middle-age isn’t that bad though. I have a loving marriage, a baby on the way, and I don’t feel ugly anymore. I’m just me. 🙂

November 24th, 2004 | General | 4 Comments -

Slow day

The day has started off very slow. But I got the Thanksgiving grocery shopping done. 🙂 The grocery store becomes scarier the closer to Thanksgiving it gets.

I discovered that Johnny Depp’s daughter’s name is Lily-Rose which is the name we want to give our daughter without the hyphen. I was a little sad about that, but I guess it’s a fairly obvious name. Matt and I still really like the name, so we’re still going to name her that regardless of the fact that Johnny Depp has beat us to the punch.

But then I started wondering how many Lily Roses were out there, so I Googled the name. While surfing the pages, I ran across camwhores.com because there is a “cam whore” at lily-rose.net apparently. Well, camwhores.com is a very interesting site. I mean, sure, you can look at it from a strictly porn point-of-view which I am sure most men do when they surf the site. But I was fascinated by the women! There were the women who were obviously doing the cam thing for money, and I didn’t find them as interesting. Well, maybe I’m being unfair. I’ve never met anyone who has made money by using her body… well, that’s not strictly true either. I have met several strippers in my life. But the strippers I’ve met were all emotionally unstable. I’m not saying that all strippers are emotionally unstable, but the ones that I’ve met have been. And it made me feel sorry for them. They were wild creatures with an undercurrent of unhappiness.

Anyways, I digress. The women that I was curious about were the women who didn’t take off their clothes and didn’t have “Member Site Only” written beneath their link. They were exhibitionists obviously, but in a very different sense than the women who were exposing their body and doing it for money. I bet they would be fascinating to talk to.

I’m a bit envious of women who are so open like that because I am so shy. When I was younger, and even quite a bit to this day but not as badly, I have always been a wallflower– willfully fading into the background, afraid to be noticed. So when I see these women showing themselves to the world on their webcams, I wish I could be a bit more like that. Not to that extreme of course, but I would like to be less self-conscious and self-deprecating.

I have work to do. *sigh* Cooking, dusting, cleaning the Macquarium. I was procrastinating with my Live Journal entry, but now I’m finished. Maybe if I have a movie going in the background it won’t seem so tedious. Off to housework…

November 23rd, 2004 | General | No Comments -

I’m really really tired. Deb and Lindsey came into town and we worked on the baby’s room all weekend. It’s beautiful. And it’s now 75% ready for the new arrival. We painted it, decorated it, and set up the baby furniture.

And now I’m exhausted. I can’t believe how much Deb and Bruce are doing for Matt and I. Deb worked hard all weekend on our baby room, and now she is helping me organize a baby shower. I don’t like giving parties. I always worry about people having a good time at a party that I throw. But Deb and Sonia both keep asking about a shower, and, the truth is, I want to do whole “baby experience.” And you really only have a shower with your first baby, so if I skip it, I’ll miss that part of being pregnant.

But people have done soooooooo much for us already. They have given us so much. And a shower is about more gifts to the parents to offset the cost of a new baby. But we’ve already been given so many gifts and so much love from our family and friends. It feels selfish to have a shower.

And we didn’t throw a shower for Carla when she was pregnant with Logan — and that makes me feel very guilty. 🙁 Carla’s pregnancy didn’t receive nearly as much attention as Shelly’s pregnancy, and I thought that was because Shelly had the first grand-baby in the family and everyone was so excited about that. I thought my pregnancy would be much like Carla’s: kind of overlooked because the first grandchild had already been born. But I’m receiving lots of attention and lots of gifts, and I’m feeling very guilty about it. Or maybe Carla received more attention than I noticed. I may have been in my own little world while Carla was pregnant and not noticed what was going on with her. I haven’t talked to Carla about any of this because I’m feeling very self-conscious. It’s difficult sometimes to be the center of so much attention… difficult in a very pleasant way because I feel so loved, but still a bit difficult.

I have a hard time writing boring stuff in my Live Journal. Usually, entries like this one only go in my private journal simply because they seem so mundane and uninteresting. I find that my journal entries are becoming more and more boring. One writes about what is on one’s mind, and of course I’m completely thinking of baby stuff. I mean, she’ll be here in about six weeks! But, geez, must it be boring to read!!

I’m going into the next stage of my life. I’m settling down. I’m about to have a child and all I want to do is keep my house warm and inviting for my husband and my baby, learn how to sew and cook, settle into a comfortable, happy routine. You know, really boring stuff. Well, not boring to me, but boring to outsiders. My conversation will be boring, my lifestyle will be boring. I will be as happy as a cat asleep in the warm sun, but I will not be nearly as interesting.

It’s hard to change. Even when you want the change, it still hurts a little on the inside. Goodbye, my hip young self. Hello, middle-aged mom.

I think I’ll like this stage though — I think I’ll like it a lot.

And my mom is coming to stay with me for two months after the baby is born. I’m so glad she’ll be here. Matt will be here to help me, but Mom has so much more experience with babies. I feel very alone during the day sometimes when Matt is at work and it’s just me and the dogs here at the house, and feeling alone and nervous with a newborn child was not something I was looking forward to. But now I’ll have my mom with me. I won’t be alone and Lily will have a much more experienced woman helping to look after her.

Gosh, it’s late. Matt and I meant to go to bed early tonight because we were so tired from the weekend (tired in a good way — the baby’s room really is beautiful). But then Matt’s boss phoned and he had to fix a problem with the database.

So much changing…. I’m very nervous and very excited….

We have to think of a really nice way to thank Deb and Bruce for everything they have done for us.

November 22nd, 2004 | General | 2 Comments -

Feeling better

I talked to my obstetrician for a long time about all my worries. I feel much more comfortable with her now. Since my pregnancy is classified as “high risk,” I will see her once a week until the delivery and Lily will be getting a biophysical profile once a week to make sure she is alright. Also, all my appointments are now with my obstetrician and not her nurses.

And I have a crush on my hematologist. I always feel awkward when I develop a crush on someone because I’m a married woman. Not that I would ever do anything with another man as I am extremely in love with my husband. My husband is perfect in every way, and I’m not just saying that — he really is an amazing man. But I always find it strange that I can develop a crush on another man even when I’m happily married. My hematologist is kind, gentle, cute and smart. These are all the same reasons I first developed a crush on Matt when I first met him — he was (and still is) kind, gentle, cute and smart.

So anyways, if a married woman happens to stumble across this entry and she is feeling like a bad wife because she has a crush on someone other than her husband, apparently it’s just nature. I love my husband and I’ll never cheat on him or leave him, but I still develop crushes on other men on occasion. Go figure. I have also discovered in my three and a half years of marriage that the crushes eventually go away, but the love you carry for your husband deepens with time. So, the crushes in the end are only slightly embarrassing and inconvenient, nothing that is really trouble.

I wonder if Matt has had a crush on any other women since we have been married. Of course, he will never admit it to me because I have a history of jealousy. When we were dating, my jealousy was legendary and scary. But when we got married, it really mellowed out. I think the jealousy was just a function of fear of losing him. Then, after we were married and I felt secure in our relationship, the fear — and therefore the jealousy — abated.

I’ve been in a go-go-go mood lately. I don’t know if it is all the Prednisone as steroids give you a ton of energy or if I am entering the nesting stage of pregnancy. Either way, I want to use this energy and motivation to “complete” the house. By complete, I mean unpack the rest of the boxes from the move, steam clean the carpets and couches, clear off the hard drive on my computer (it’s amazing how much junk will pile up in a hard drive), get household routines set up so that when the baby gets here things will run a bit smoother, finish putting contact paper down in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets…. you know, normal nesting stuff. I saw a film by the Monks of New Skete who raise beautiful German Shepherds. This one female German Shepherd was just about to have her babies, and she went into a flurry of activity getting her birthing area ready to have the puppies. That’s what I think of while I’m in this stage — I’m just like that German Shepherd getting my birthing area ready for my child. 🙂

I’m glad I’m feeling better. Sadness and depression are so hard to deal with. They sap the energy right out of your body, and you’re left huddled in a corner of your room nursing an internal invisible wound. It’s very annoying. I hate being incapacitated, and that’s pretty much what sadness does — it makes you sick and you’re stuck in bed; you may as well have the flu. Yuch.

Carla’s birthday is on Monday. I want to get her a really nice gift — you know, something that she really wants. Maybe I should ask Steve…

November 19th, 2004 | General | No Comments -

Hard to maintain upbeat attitude…

My body is not handling this pregnancy at all well. I have been on prednisone (a steroid) for five months now because of ITP (low platelets). My hematologist just had to raise my prednisone dosage to 80mg again because my platelet count fell below 30,000. A normal person has a platelet count between 150,000 and 300,000.

But now I have prednisone-induced diabetes. Prednisone commands your body to create glucose and to dump it into your blood. Pregnancy creates hormones that block your insulin. So I have a ton of glucose being dumped into my bloodstream because of the prednisone, and my insulin is not working very well because of the pregnancy. All carbs turn into sugar in the blood. So I am basically on a low-carb diet… an extremely low-carb diet. I can’t eat any carbs at all during the day as that is when my blood sugar spikes all on its own because of the prednisone. And I can eat very very few carbs for breakfast and dinner.

Well, milk and yogurt both contain carbs. And my pre-natal vitamin does not contain calcium because it does contain iron, and the body doesn’t absorb iron as well if it is taken with calcium. So, now because of this crazy low-carb diet, I am calcium deficient and losing weight. In fact, I am 30 weeks pregnant and I have not gained a single pound… not a single pound. I weigh exactly the same as I did when I first found out I was pregnant.

I asked my dietitian for a calcium supplement, so now I am taking a calcium supplement to deal with that problem.

And I don’t like my obstetrician. I’m so tired. I don’t mean physically tired, I mean mentally tired. It’s hard to keep up this diet. It’s extremely difficult to eat hardly any carbs at all. And I get so hungry, and my diet is so extremely restricted. And prednisone is so hard on the body, and I’m on a pretty intense dosage. And I’ve been battling ITP since I was told I had it at 15 weeks. And now I’m losing weight. I’m in my third trimester and I’m losing weight. 🙁

So all this is going on, and my obstetrician has only seen me once this whole time. I am due in two months and my obstetrician has only seen me once during the entire pregnancy. She has no idea who I am and I have no relationship with her. I meet with her nurses all the time for my check-ups.

I’m so unhappy. I’m so weak… mentally weak… hard to stay upbeat… hard not to cry. I’m hungry but I can’t eat anything but salads and meat. I can’t just go have a banana and a glass of milk for a snack. I have to eat something with no carbs. And my platelets keep falling. And my obstetrician is crap.

I’m going to try to switch obstetricians tomorrow. I really like my hematologist and maternal fetal medicine doctors, so I want to continue seeing them.

I thought pregnancy would be fun. And it was fun. I was dealing with the ITP just fine. But then diabetes, then losing weight, then the realization that my obstetrician is crap. Why can’t I be happy? Lily seems to be doing fine.

I think it’s because so many things are going wrong with my body during this pregnancy, and I feel alone because my obstetrician sucks. I don’t have a doctor to hold my hand and tell me that everything will be alright. And the problems just keep piling up. And I’m hungry. 🙁

So very sad… I don’t want to waste this joyous time while I’m pregnant on sadness but I am having a hard time shaking it. Maybe when I change obstetricians things will start looking up.

November 7th, 2004 | General | 2 Comments -