Friday, January 29, 2010


I think I've figured out why I have trouble remembering people from my hometown, and it's not due to early onset dementia. It's due to the fact that I HATE(D) MY HOMETOWN and most of the people in it!

I graduated from high school in 1988. Recently there has been talk on Fac.ebo.ok about the fact that the alumni from the classes of 1980 through 1989 are having an 80s reunion there this summer. A few people have asked me if I will be attending. The answer I'd like to give is "Not only No, but HELL NO."

I will never, not even for my 50th, if I live that long, attend a class reunion in my hometown. Most of the people I grew up with were obnoxious and ignorant, and I find it hard to believe that many of them will have improved with the passing of time.

Sure, there are some people in my high school class and the classes ahead of mine who I liked and might enjoy seeing again. . . . but the prospect of seeing these people is not outweighed by the certainty of having to tolerate a bunch of yahoos I didn't like in high school and probably still wouldn't like.

I've read and heard enough about many of my former classmates on Fac.ebo.ok to know that the ones who were obnoxious and ignorant continue to be obnoxious and ignorant. And many of the ones I liked have (wisely) moved away and fallen out of contact with everyone.

Am I the only one who feels this way about her hometown? I bless the day my father moved away from there and ensured that I would NEVER have to go back, even for a visit.

'Nuff said on this topic. I have already given it far more space on this blog and in my mind than it truly deserves.Justify Full

Monday, January 25, 2010

Early onset dementia?

Ever since I have been active on Fac.ebo.ok the past year or so, I have noticed that I can't seem to remember many people from my hometown. It's almost like I've blocked out a significant portion of my years there. I'm not sure if this is common or not, but I am a little bothered by it.

As I may have mentioned before, my sister V and I grew up in a small town. Our four-year high school had only about 350 students total, and my graduating class was 69 people. Because there was little industry in the town where we lived, not a lot of people moved in or out. Sure, occasionally someone moved away (and I envied them!) or someone new moved to town (always an event), but for the most part, I went to school with the same people K-12. We moved there when I was 5, and my dad lived there until I was 19, so I spent essentially my entire childhood there.

Given the size of our hometown and the relative stability of its population, you would think that I would clearly remember everyone I knew there. . . . but this is not the case. On more than a few occasions, I have received a friend request from someone, or seen a name on someone else's friend list, and had to email V to see if she knew who the person was. Even more concerning: V usually knows who these people are, even though she is two years younger than I, with only a couple of exceptions.

Most recently, I've felt bad because there have been a lot of posts by classmates of mine about a man whose name I recognize as a high school classmate (or maybe from the class a year after me). "JS" is apparently fighting cancer--and may have died, based on someone's cryptic status update yesterday--and I have no memory of him beyond his name sounding familiar. I couldn't tell you what he looked like, what his personality was like, or any shared experience he and I had.

Why is it that I can remember the telephone number of the boy I liked in junior high school and just about every mean thing anyone did to me in my hometown, but I cannot remember anything but JS's name?

While "chatting" with a high school classmate on Fac.ebo.ok last week, she was referencing people I did not remember at all, who were apparently just one year ahead of me. In that instance, not only could I not retrieve any concrete memories of the person--as with JS--I couldn't even really remember the name.

I'd like to think that I can't recall these mostly irrelevant facts because my brain is so filled with other good stuff, but I am a little concerned that my memory is failing me at age 38.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

14 months


I had the hardest time getting up this morning because the overcast weather made it dark outside so that it seemed much earlier than it actually was. I not-so-fondly remembered my days working 12-hour day shifts in the hospital when I had to get to work while it was still dark and leave in the dark as well a significant portion of the year. (Working 12-hour night shifts was no better.) Even the doggies were fooled.

I honestly don't know how people who live in parts of the country that get real winter weather all the time do it. (My MIL's cousin, who lives on a farm in North Dakota, says that they joke that the weather "keeps the riff-raff out.") I remember SL used to tell me how Anchorage would only get about four hours of daylight per day in the winter. I couldn't live like that!

We have been experiencing the most un-Phoenix-like weather this week! Rain has been in the forecast every day, and it has actually rained at least some portion of the past three days. Today I woke up to rain which has continued to fall at a steady pace. I suppose that this weather is typical for some parts of the world in January, but not in Phoenix! I actually like the rain--probably because it's a change and also because I find the sound of it falling soothing--so I am just making an observation, not a complaint.

I had the pleasure of meeting an on-line friend in real life this week. She is the second person I initially met through the internet and have now met in person. It was fun!

My weight continues to be up, and I continue to do essentially nothing about it. I bought some fruit and vegetables at the grocery store on Monday, and I have been eating them. Unfortunately, I have also been eating larger-than-necessary portions at meals and too much candy at work and not going to the gym. I worked out twice last week, and thus far zero times this week. I have no excuse, good or lame.

Work is status quo. Life is status quo. I continue to be in one of those periods where just getting through each day seems like sufficient work, so that the thought of tackling something else big, like a major home decluttering project or working out seems way too much to contemplate.

So I just go on living life. . . . spending time with my husband and my dogs, reading, chatting with friends on the phone. The usual.

Today's post title recognizes the fact that I will turn 40 years old 14 months from today. Yikes!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear Fac.ebo.ok

??--forgot to weigh

Dear Fac.ebo.ok,

I am not a mom. I don't know why you think I am a mom, when my profile lists no children and I have never mentioned children to anyone, in any fashion, on your site.

Given that I'm not a mom, I am not interested in meeting other moms, winning free diapers, learning about local Montessori schools, or hearing about the government paying moms to go back to school. Figure out a better way to market to your target audience. Maybe you should start with women who actually have children. . . just a thought.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Things I Wish I'd Known 20 Years Ago

219.8 (eek!)

  • There is nothing wrong with setting the bar low. In fact, lower (or at least realistic) expectations are a good way to avoid disappointment and upset.
  • I will never be "hip" or "with it," no matter how hard I try or how much money I spend.
  • You will never please everyone, so work on pleasing yourself and those close to you.
  • Even people whose lives seem "perfect" have problems.
  • Dogs, good friends and good books will bring more happiness and contentment than an expensive car, stylish clothes and a big house.
  • Those "popular" people in high school who your dad said would end up checking groceries at the Saf.eway? Yeah, Dad wasn't too far off the mark.
  • Ditto for Mom's prediction that half the people who got married in their 20s would be "divorced and back out on the market" by the time I was ready to get married. Sad but true.
  • A sense of humor and reliability are way more important qualities in a man than outstanding good looks and "excitement."
But as my father always said. . . . "You can't put an old head on young shoulders." I would scoffed at anyone who had told me these things when I was 18.

P.S. Isn't today's weight atrocious?! I thought I was looking even fatter than usual lately, and I am!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Among the living

I spent most of yesterday in bed after waking up with a headache that would not go away. I also had a scratchy throat, some discomfort in my right ear and just generally felt off, so it's probably better that I got a lot of extra rest.

Today I feel mostly back to normal, still a little tired. My head has the usual dull ache I get the day after a long-lasting headache but doesn't really hurt.

While getting ready for work this morning, I somehow managed to strain my left lower back. I was leaning close to the mirror and turned to the side when I felt/heard a "pop" just above the left side of my pelvis. It still hurts if I move certain ways. Yes, middle age is fast approaching. . . . or maybe it's just because I'm overweight and out of shape. Either could be a reasonable explanation for my injuring myself while performing a normal activity of daily living, I suppose. Unfortunately, I can't get in for a massage with my usual therapist until next week.

I spent last weekend in Albuquerque visiting an old friend, "H." I first met H when I was 18 and she was 14, through a youth organization in which we were both active. At the time we met, the age difference between us was pretty significant, but we have kept in touch over the years, and it has seemed less and less as time has passed. She went on, five years later, to hold the same state-wide office I held in the organization when we met, and that made an additional bond between us. I attended her wedding in March 2000 and have visited her several times over the years.

Anyway, H was finally divorced this past October after a two-year-plus legal battle. Long story short, her marriage had never been perfect, but really hit the skids when her husband had a psychotic break when their younger daughter was 6 weeks old (and their older daughter not quite 2) and was ultimately diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. H could have, and would have, lived with her ex-husband's mental illness, though it was difficult and far from ideal, but she would not live with his repeated infidelities. When she caught him soliciting sexual encounters on line (not for the first time), they separated. Ultimately he was the one who filed for divorce when H left the state where they had lived throughout their marriage and moved back to Albuquerque to be near her parents not long before their older daughter's 3rd birthday. Despite the fact that *he* filed for divorce, he did everything he could for two years to delay things and resist every attempt at settlement.

H looked fabulous, and she was the happiest I'd seen her in years. Her daughters--now aged 5 and 3--are thriving and very cute. She has a wonderful, loving boyfriend who I really liked. (Though to be fair, I liked her ex-husband, too, at one time.) We had a great time catching up and hanging out, though I nearly froze. I am NOT used to being where the daytime highs are in the 30s!

While I was visiting H, I also got to have lunch with a mutual friend of ours who I had not seen in over 15 years. That was a lot of fun, too!

The only downside of going away for a weekend trip is that none of my usual weekend chores get done. MM was good enough to take down our tree and decorations and the Christmas wreaths outside and do his usual weekend cleaning, but there are still holiday knick-knacks that need to be stored and the like. I also need to do my laundry, buy groceries, and clean the bathrooms. Not sure when I'll be getting to all this. . . . maybe next weekend.

Not much else new to report. I keep thinking about getting back in shape, and I actually made it to the gym once last week. Unfortunately, I don't get much past the thinking stage most days. Being gone all weekend, making a 7-hour round-trip drive for work (Monday) and not feeling well don't help.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bad but not illegal

OK, based on the comments on my last post, I fear I may have left a misimpression. This a-hole from high school did not rape me: as I told one person who emailed me, he broke my heart but did not break the law.

Our sexual encounter was consensual, though I do believe that this person took advantage of my naivete, being older and more experienced himself. The really awful thing(s) he did to me came after that. It's a long story to tell, and I don't know that I want to dredge all that up anyway when it happened about 25 years ago.

Anyhoo. Just wanted to clarify.

I had a terrific weekend visiting an old and dear friend. I will write more on that soon. This morning I have to drive to Kingman for a deposition. Good times. . . . .

Friday, January 08, 2010

Random musing


I noticed recently that the guy who was my "first" (and under less than ideal circumstances too long to go into here) is now on Fac.ebo.ok. Fac.ebo.ok actually suggested him as a "friend" for me--hardeeharhar--but I declined.

Though we are not "friends," he is apparently not bright enough to setup his profile so that stalkers like me who aren't on his Friends list can't see his photos and information. So I have been able to view photos of him, his wife, and his two children, among other things.

Would it be wrong of me to send him a message that reads as follows:

"I see that your daughter is 15 and will soon be 16. Pretty girl. I hope no guy does to her what you did to me at her age."

Yeah, I guess that would be a little mean. . . .

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Aughts

One of my favorite bloggers (whose blog is password protected, so I cannot post a link) blogged the milestones she considered significant for the past decade. Her post prompted me to think of my own milestones over the past ten years. Here they are. . . .

From 2000- 2009, in no particular order, I:

  • Came to live in Arizona (in January 2000) and have been here--either in Tucson or in Phoenix--ever since.
  • Left the field of nursing after 7 years of practice.
  • Applied to (and was accepted by) five law schools, attended law school at the University of Arizona (2001 to 2004), and graduated from law school (May 2004, top 33% of my class).
  • Passed the bar exam (on the first try!).
  • Worked as a prosecutor (just like Law & Order!) and tried 29 jury trials in two-and-a-half years on the job.
  • Paid off my undergraduate student loan, finally!
  • Made many more friends than in the 90s, with most of whom I am still in regular contact.
  • Got engaged twice.
  • Called off a wedding 13 days out.
  • Got married (on Maui!).
  • Attended the wedding of my first serious, long-term boyfriend to someone else.
  • Bought my first house.
  • Was a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding.
  • Became an aunt for the first time.
  • Visited Ireland, my father's homeland, for the first (and second) time as an adult.
  • Adopted my first (and second) golden retriever.
  • Became a CASA volunteer, fulfilling a long-held goal of doing volunteer work to benefit children. Have served on cases for two different children, the latest case for over 6 years.
  • Was able to maintain a weight loss of 30 lbs for nearly a year.
  • Lost at least 20 lbs three different times. . . . only to re-gain all the lost weight (sometimes plus more).
OK, so 2009 wasn't a particularly great year for me, but the aughts were certainly a good decade!

I note in passing that when I was 20 years old, I authored a list entitled "Things to Do Before I Die" . . . . a Bucket List, if you will. During the 00s, I accomplished a few of the items on my list: owning a purebred golden retriever; visiting Ireland; paying off my undergrad student loan; learned to play the piano; and last, but by no means least, marrying "a man who truly loves and respects me."

(I should post my Bucket List here sometime. . . . it'd be good for a chuckle.)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Twenty Questions


I ran across this email while clearing out my email folders. Someone I met on the sparkpeople message boards asked me to answer these questions for some college class project she was doing. I enjoyed re-reading my answers, and I don't think they'd be much different today if I filled this out. I thought others might enjoy reading them, too. (I added the parts in brackets today before posting this.)

Twenty Questions

Sunday, June 15, 2008 5:42 PM

From: "S"


1. At what point did you decide what you would do with your life?

I'm not sure that I have decided! I have had two careers so far: first as a hospital nurse, now as a lawyer. Being a nurse was fulfilling in the sense that I provided an invaluable service to people, but I didn't feel it was a good fit for me. I really love working as a lawyer, but being a lawyer has made it more difficult for me to achieve balance between my personal and my working lives.I'm not sure that I'll continue doing what I do now until I retire. And I think that's OK.

2. Did a pivotal sign tell you that you were on the right track?


3. Did you have to make any sacrifice to pursue what you do?

To go to law school, I had to incur an additional $60,000+ in student loans above what I was already paying for undergrad, plus take three years out of the workforce.

4. Are there important things that you haven't done yet?

Yes! The primary one that I think about all the time is being a mother. There are also hobbies I'd like to pursue and places I'd like to visit. I hope I will live long enough to do these things!

5. What do you wish you had known as a young woman that would have further advanced your life by this point?

That it's OK to be unsure about where I'm headed and to be open to advice and inspiration from unexpected sources.

6. What was your favorite part of your twenties? What was your least favorite part?

My favorite part of my 20s was finally being an adult and getting to know myself, my strengths and my weaknesses.My least favorite part was that I was solely responsible for my choices and their consequences. (Though this could also be viewed as a positive, depending on one's perspective.)

7. Do you believe that you are following your destiny, or that you have found your life's purpose?

I don't know. I do know that my current career "plays to my strengths" much more than my previous career, and I enjoy it. I wouldn't say I'm passionate about it, though, in the way I think one would be if it was her "life's purpose."

8. Of the painful happenings in your life, which would you wish to keep?

Strange to say, but all of them. Overcoming those obstacles has helped to make me into the person I am today.

9. Why do you think there is so much fear and jealousy in the world?

I think part of fear and jealousy comes from a lack of self-confidence or self-love. If you believe in yourself and know that you are worthy, you will have no reason to doubt or to envy because you will know that the Universe will send you good things in Its own time.

10. Do you listen more to your heart than to your head?

I listen more to my head.

11. Do you trust others easily?

I'm middle-of-the-road on this. I will say that the more I've known people, the more skeptical I've become. I was more trusting at 20 than I am now.

12. How important was money in your career choice?

When I chose nursing, money was only important to the extent that I thought it would be more likely than not that I wouldn't have to face long periods of unemployment as a nurse; I knew it wasn't a lucrative field.

When I chose the law, money was a bit more of a consideration. . . . mostly because I had to borrow a fairly significant sum to pursue a second career and wanted it to be financially worthwhile.

13. What annoys you most?

People who are stupid or just don't get it. . . . who make no effort to learn or improve.

14. What are some of the things that you wish someone would have told you as a young woman?

Never settle. It's OK to have high standards, but realize that not everyone who comes into your life will be able to meet them.

Know yourself. Until you truly know yourself, no one else can really get to know you.

Enjoy the journey. It sounds cheesy, but most of the best things that have happened to me in my life were a result of serendipity or of things not going the way I had planned.

Don't worry too much about what other people think. Ultimately, you are the one you will have to face every day in the mirror, so care more about what YOU think.

[Truth be told, I probably wouldn't have listened to anyone who had told me these things when I was younger.]

15. How important do you think it is for people to have mentors? Who were yours?

I think how important a mentor is depends upon the individual person. I don't think I've ever really had a mentor, and I seem to have done OK for myself.

16. Do you feel you have a fulfilled personal life? Do you consider your career to be part of your personal life?

Aside from the fact that I am not a mother, I think my personal life is pretty fulfilled. I have many good, close friends; my parents are still living, and I have a good relationship with each of them; I am close to my sister and have an adorable 19-month-old [now 3-year-old] nephew; and I have a wonderful boyfriend [now husband] with whom I am building a future. Also, I have a wonderful dog [two wonderful dogs now] who enriches my life every day just be being himself.
I also get a sense of fulfillment from volunteering. I have volunteered as an advocate for children in foster care since 2002. If work allowed me more time to do so, I would also want to volunteer with my dog as a therapy team. (I've gone so far as to seek out an organization and training for this, but haven't found the time to actually get involved.)

I do NOT consider my career to part of my personal life. I rarely socialize with anyone from work outside work hours, although several of my friends are lawyers by virtue of the fact that I met them in law school.

17. If you could instantly have one talent, what would it be?

I would like to be able to read people well.

18. How much attention do you pay the rest of the world?

Probably slightly more than the average American, based on what I've read, but not a lot. I tend to stay pretty focused on what is going on in my own life and my own community vs. the world at large.

19. What lessons do you think you still have to learn?

Lots. There are still many things about myself that I want to improve. I'd like to be more organized, healthier (through better eating & exercise), and less critical of others.

20. What is your favorite mode of communication and why?

Talking because it comes easily to me and I can usually make myself best understood in that way. I find that the written word sometimes has the potential for misunderstandings. I consider myself to be a good writer, but when you talk to someone, you can observe their reactions and body language and tell whether you are communicating effectively.

P.S. When I was in my 20s, friends who were slightly older used to tell me that the 30s were the "best decade yet." To be honest, I thought they were full of crap, but now that I am 37, I believe it's true. I spent so much of my 20s trying to be what I thought other people wanted me to be (my parents, my boyfriends, my friends & peers) and feeling uncertain about the path I should be taking.Now that I am 37 [38], I realize that I am far from perfect, but I know myself--the good and the bad--and because of this self-knowledge, I am able to try to be the best ME I can and to fully engage with other people.
In my 30s, I also care a lot less about what most people think of me. I do what I think is right, and I value the opinions of a handful of close friends and family members. The rest of the world's opinions don't matter much to me.

Monday, January 04, 2010

This feels wrong. . . .

I am listening to the Twilight Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Lest you think I would purchase such a thing for myself, allow me to explain: I bought it as a birthday gift for M, the little girl on whose case I am a CASA. I felt it my duty to listen to make sure that none of the song lyrics were explicit or inappropriate for a 10-year-old before giving it to her.

I actually like all the music on here. I may have to rip some (all?) songs to iTu.nes before I give this to M.

Hi, my name is S. I am 38 years old, and I like the Twilight soundtrack.

P.S. Resolution #6 is going resoundingly well; I have emptied the sink before bedtime the past three nights. Because I am back at work today, tonight will be the real test.

Friday, January 01, 2010

2010 Resolutions

Yeah, I'm going to make some resolutions this year. At the risk of coming across negative and defeatist, I want to (semi-) publicly admit that some of these are resolutions I have made before and failed to fulfill. But you know the old Japanese saying: fall down seven times, get up eight. I'll never achieve any of these goals by throwing up my hands in defeat.

Without further ado, here are the six changes I would like to make this year, in no particular order:

1. Make exercise a regular daily habit.
2. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and/or vegetables each day.
3. Pay off my (relatively small but nagging) credit card debt.
4. Save the money to buy the diamond stud earrings I've wanted for over 10 years.
5. Spend at least 5 minutes each evening tidying up the common living areas in our home.
6. Make sure the kitchen sink is empty each night before going to bed.

I am already on the right path to achieving #3 & 4, and if I stick to the plan I've figured out for each--and no unexpected financial crises arise--I should be able to achieve both by the end of 2010. For #1, 2, 5 & 6, I am going to use the 6 changes method.

In the interest of starting small and simple, I plan to tackle #6 first. My hope is that success in forming one habit will breed more success in forming others. Wish me luck!