No doubt others may have a variety of adjectives to describe me, all good, of course. But, I think it’s healthy to have one you can throw out there, kind of like your business card.
Hello, my name is Desiree and I’m impartial. . . but mostly about words that describe me.
I made the unfortunate mistake a few years ago when I was having a go at getting back into the working world by not having three words to describe myself to the interviewer. I struggled to come up with three, even though I should have been prepared to sell myself considering that’s what an interview is all about. I started off with detail-oriented, to which he replied, “That only counts as one.”
I’m not sure if he was trying to be funny, but trying to sum up who I am in three words is no laughing matter. And, now that I think about it, what the hell? As if I was trying to be all slick and sneak one in under the three-word radar. All I’m saying is that I needed a thesaurus and more time than he allotted.
Needless to say, I didn’t win him over with my lack of wordsmith skills considering the position called for creativity in selling the hotel. Now, had he asked me to throw out said adjectives to describe the hotel, it would have been easily done. But, describe me? Not so much when I was, and am, still trying to figure it out.
I guess it could be summed up with the notion that I don’t like to talk about myself. Ironic, I know, considering the concept of this blog. But really, it’s more all about you talking about me. See how that works? I write about me and then you talk about me. And yes, go ahead and use condescending for edifying purposes. Ooh, or maybe narcissistic given the prompt? And now my word could be helpful, right?
At least I can say my wheels are spinning on this self-describing name thing. I sometimes see others post on Facebook a request for friends to describe them with just one word, but I’m thinking that perhaps we need to do that for ourselves.
Ever thought about which one you’d chose? Let me know so I can see if it works for me, too. Okay, so maybe lazy might work here as well.
As I did yet another load of laundry, something a very dear friend said came to mind as shoved the different sizes of jeans for each family member in the dryer. It was really just an observation about how men handle the shopping experience when they've gone up a size.
Now, this doesn't apply to all men, of course, but let’s just go with “most” men to make the blogging magic happen. So, if a man were to try on a pair of pants in oh, I don’t know a size 30 and they don't fit – do you know what they do? They get a size 32!
They're all, “Eh, these don’t fit. Guess I’ll have to get at larger pair.”
What does the woman do when she tries on a size 8 and it doesn't fit? She tries on another size 8. . . in every style and brand of jeans until she finds one that slides smoothly over her child-bearing hips and buttons securely without having to lean back over the chair in the fitting room. That, dear readers, is what a woman does.
It goes something like, “What the hell? These pants are running small now?”
Now, to be fair, the various brands of clothing do have different views on what a size 6 is or even a size 12. To prove my point, I’ll gladly offer that I have a pair of size 8 jeans, as well as a size 6 that I wear interchangeably - without the whole sucking in of the stomach. I also learned from the very same friend that when you shop, don’t routinely avoid the small if you’re a medium, or even the large.
I volunteer at a fabulous thrift shop called Transitions and know firsthand that my medium size frame fits swimmingly well in small, sometimes. I can’t say that venturing into the large is good for the psyche, but honestly, I’ve found some fantastic tops there too.
Let’s also address the “I’ll buy this fabulous outfit now and just lose some weight” scenario. Really? Can you honestly say that with any frequency you actually lose the weight and SHAZAM, perfect fit? Or, do you have a collection of clothing, with the tags dangling, sitting in the corner, reminding you every single day that all ya gotta do is stop eating. . .for a week? We ALL have that pile and if you don't - well, then you're a liar. Just keeping it real, yo.
I’m by no means saying that we women need to be more like men, heaven forbid. But, what if we just own up to the fact we aren't the size we thought we were anymore?
Ha! Girl, I’m just kidding! You get those tight shorts, they’ll totally fit next weekend.
Well, days 15 and 16 seemed to slip away as I was having too much fun with my youngest sister. This was one of our best visits thus far and with her new job, I hope to have more. Not growing up together created an unfortunate gap in our relationship over the years, but having more time alone together than her last visit, we covered a wide range of conversations that revealed more of who we are today. Not to mention, how much we are alike. Which is quite awesome I must say.
What I’ve noticed is that as the oldest of four siblings, I seem to have quite naturally fallen into more of a mother-hen role. One that I embrace as this far outweighs my previous role growing up as bossy-beyotch.
Kidding, they’re too scared to call me bossy.
What’s curious is there seems to be the common belief among my siblings that I’m laden with self-sufficiency and emotional strength. This isn’t to say they don’t ask me how I’m doing or aren’t there to listen, but there’s a small element of disbelief that my world is sometimes rocked a bit. How do you think one obtains this vast wisdom that I willingly share?
I’d like to think it’s an accumulation of life experiences, including those things that one keeps on the really-really-stupid-what-was-I-possibly-thinking list. Everyone has THAT list. Talking about all sorts of things with my sister this weekend brought that list front and center. It’s those you highly regret that are cause for conversation to help you rationalize. It’s when you don’t own your mistakes in life that you can’t get past them.
I can attribute it to youth, but to a younger sister that’s more of an insult and highly unhelpful. Answers are needed, specific answers, and even though I don’t have all of them, sharing what I do know is therapeutic for all people involved. The key word here is empathy – even if you can’t process what you’re hearing, you must have empathy for those you love and care for. There's no room for judgement here, ever.
So, keep that in mind as you start thinking about your list of moments that most would respond with “No you didn’t!” Because, yes. . . you did.
This has been the week of roller coasters in my world. Fortunately, I can appreciate the ride even if I don’t anticipate every turn. A family friend came knocking, literally, and the unannounced visit couldn’t have been more welcome. Not only did I not want them to leave, I hope they come back soon.
We are living in a world where dropping by to see someone without texting, emailing, calling or even the archaic writing of a letter, is unheard of. And you know what? Sometimes, that's a really good thing. [Note: I did say sometimes]
I think it’s already in my nature to live moment to moment and I’ve come to accept surprises as a way of life. Can you imagine trying to anticipate every single thing in your life and prepare for it? It would drive you mad. Just a little thing I've learned over the years.
I chose the title of Texas Cyclone as it was known for it's speed and offering the feeling of being out of control. I think that pretty much sums up life, no?
Today is Free Pass on Your Self-Imposed Writing Challenge Day. I’m just too sleepy to write and have quite literally drifted off sitting up. I’d swear one would think I’ve done heavy lifting all day. So, based on the few sentences thus far we can officially call this what it is . . . a mini-post.
See what I did there? Who sets the perimeters?
My second born has got me thinking about all the music I’ve collected over a lifetime and the vast variety of genres I listen to. He was surprised I had Elton John, but I guess he isn’t old enough to know that everyone has Elton. It tickles me to listen to him sing Crocodile Rock or Bennie and the Jets as it’s way before his generation.
I recently saw a blog post asking the reader to think about what your life’s soundtrack might include and there is no doubt those listening to mine would think I have numerous personalities. I didn’t think my music spectrum would be so wide as to have things like heavy metal, but it seems not so much as it’s all relative. My Dad once told me that Led Zeppelin was heavy metal in his day, and I think bands like Metallica or Marilyn Manson are now. Here’s where I sound like and old lady - I can’t understand a damn word they’re saying and it sounds like a bunch of screaming to me. AND GET OFF MY LAWN! Needless to say, we’ve got all of Zeppelin and even some AC/DC in the collection, Bon Scott era baby.
Yes, we're just that cool and my kids think so too.
I think the only genre not respected in my house by anyone but me is Country music. How they don’t appreciate George Strait is way beyond rational thought and forces me to retreat to a happy place. Latin music? Nope. If they can’t understand all the words, then forget it – which is odd considering rap is on their list of favorites. It’s super funny to hear the songs they want to download as it has to be the “clean” version, without explicit themes (unreasonable parent, I know). Sounds like a bad phone connection, but they totally groove on it.
So, I’m going to work on my “This is your Music Life” list and see if I can narrow it down. It will definitely include tunes from Duran Duran, Run DMC, George Strait, Frank Sinatra, Beatles, and Foo Fighters, and Britney (yeah, Britney Bitch), and Justin T, and Maroon 5 (duh)…the list may be never ending. Can you just imagine all of these guys were in one room? Talk about rocking your world.
Ever thought about what your soundtrack might sound like? Mine sounds a lot like Sybil's.
Someone reminded me tonight the importance of letting those in your life know that you are thinking of them. I know we are all busy these days, but perhaps even a little text is okay every once in a while. However, hearing someone’s voice is so much better. I’m so guilty of not calling those in my life that mean very much to me, assuming just thinking of them is enough. But really, how the hell will they ever know if I don’t tell them?
Sometimes holding on too tightly to those we care about isn’t healthy, like we do with our kids. Yet, what about the rest of the family, your friends, or even a little appreciation for those you work with? Okay, I know that last one can sometimes be a stretch, but you know what I mean. What if you aren't holding onto anything at all?
Here's a few photos of those who are connected to me, in varying fashion, who have left way too soon.
I figure if I just start typing that an idea for Day 10 will hit me and I’ll be swept up in a blogging moment that will relieve the pressure I feel from this self-imposed challenge, and perhaps change your life in the process.
How about we start with one of the best movie lines I’ve pretty much ever heard, “Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Of course, it originated from Lewis Carroll’s novel, Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – for you fellow English majors out there. Though I have to say, I woke up at 5:00 in the morning to get the firstborn on the bus to DC, so practically everything was impossible before breakfast.
Let’s try six impossible things after breakfast and keep in line with Alice’s theme:
1. There is a potion, a.k.a. coffee that can make you think – and what would some of us do without our dark roast, café latté, café con leche, macchiato or espresso? Although I began my coffee journey with café con leche years ago, my horizons have expanded to appreciate almost all types. That, my dear friends, is maturity.
2. There is a cake that will make you grow and it’s in the form of a donut – what would the morning be without that? There’s also the cinnamon roll, scone, bagel, French toast or muffin. All of which will not make you grow tall like Alice did in, but will make you grow similar to the fashion of Tweedledee. It’s just a little something I’ve learned firsthand over the years, but never let it stop me.
3. Animals, such as my dog Henry, can talk - I know his bark that warns me of the vicious squirrels outside. I know his distinct whine when he needs to. . .well, you know. And, I know that my day will be absolutely atrocious without his gentle whimper as I pet him on my way out the door. Clearly, he speaks volumes to me.
4. Cats can and do disappear – especially those feral ones in the neighborhood that somebody keeps feeding. They are everywhere and they are nowhere. What I do know is that they are jumping on the hood of my car and scratching it up. I’m pretty sure that will eliminate the broadest of smiles from anyone.
5. There is a place called Wonderland - there just has to be. Otherwise, what’s the point of everything we do? It’s all to get to our own personal Wonderland, where ever or whatever that may be. For me, that place is all-encompassing, undefined – however, it’s a place that allows my family to want for nothing, yet be grateful for everything.
6. I slay a Jabberwocky in some form or fashion every single day. It is the “ferocious maneater in life” creating our daily trials that keep the fire lit within us. Too much, isn't it? Perhaps you can call it that little negative voice that tries to convince us you can’t, but in reality, you can? Let’s run with that.
I’m beginning to think Lewis Carroll wrote his entire two novels about Alice as a metaphor about my life, right? Okay, perhaps not just me, but it sure does feel like it sometimes.
I’d love to read your version six impossible things, so do share.
Today was a definitely a good day, despite losing what felt like well more than the hour since I overslept. Everything was rather chill even though I knew I’d be packing up my first born to go on his eighth-grade trip to Washington, DC. I’m very excited for him and trying not to let my motherly anxiety possess my psyche. This will be the first time he’ll be completely out of my grasp, and staying with his grandparents doesn’t count, by the way. I just may need medication.
I’m fortunate that he’s going with a small group of students, teachers, and other parents that I’ve known for the few years he’s been at his school. This means that if anything happens to him, I know where they all live. Kidding! Mostly - you never know when it comes to mothers and their offspring. But, to stay on a more positive note, my son is armed with his phone and our telephone numbers.
I’m armed with a small handgun. . . I’m kidding. I’m still waiting for the concealed weapon license to get here.
Or am I?
All joking aside, I’m confident that because he attends a smaller school, that because the parents are all volunteers in some form or fashion, and that because I’ve gotten to know a majority of his classmates and their family, that he'll be in good hands. If you’ve ever volunteered to be a room mother/father, or perhaps attended a field trip or two, being a part of this charter school multiplies those opportunities to be involved by a thousand as it’s an everyday occurrence. You can’t help but get to know and love each of these kids as if they were your family. I guess in reality, they are.
And that, my friends, is why I will only need a light dosage of meds this week.
It seems good old Dad has given me a blog post subject for tonight, nostalgia. It began earlier this evening with his posting of random photos of me around the age of my two teenage sons. Talk about blowing their minds to see me at 14. It’s also nice to recognize that the friends in the photos are still my friends today. Well, they’re more than friends at this point, they’re family. I lost them in the early 90s, but delighted to say have found all of them and this is where Facebook’s powers are used for good.
First there was a reunion with Bridgette in December of 2010. She and I met while I was working at Palais Royal in Houston back in 1989. I worked in the Men’s department, of course, and Bridgette worked in women’s fashion, naturally. No one knows fashion like Bridge. My favorite memories are of us going the Post Oak Ranch after work for happy hour. We owned that place back then! Cowboys in business suits?
We lost touch once I moved to Miami in 1994 with the Husband. I decided to look her up in 2010 as she came to mind. And what do ya know, she was living in Jacksonville! We’ve pretty much been quite a team since then and a force to be reckoned with if I may say so. Fortunately, she has retained more memories than me on our adventures. My favorite being when a less than attractive guy approached her while we were out one night. Being the loyal friend that I am, I convinced him that she was deaf. Hey, what are girlfriends for if not that?
Then there’s my girl Gayle! I’ve known Gayle for as long as I can remember and my Dad reminded me of some of the fantastic times in my life that wouldn’t have been so had she not been there. Our families went camping every 4th of July in the early 80s and later she was my requisite person for the buddy system my parents required when I began dating around 1987. And if you knew the things we got ourselves into, even after she moved to North Carolina and came to visit, you just might blush.
She and I both lost track of each other after we married and the distance didn’t help. And guess where I found her? On Facebook, in January of 2011. The first time we saw each other again I went with my family to North Carolina, we all had dinner and it was fantastic catching up. But, when she came for business to Florida and we got together without three pairs of little eyes, Shazam!
So, first, thank you dear Father for reminding me how lucky I am to have these two amazing women in my life. And, yes, thank you Facebook for reuniting me with my family.
Here's to reconnecting with those we've lost along the way and being a better person because of it.
My photo adventures in Florida