For Me?! You Shouldn’t Have!

No, really. You probably should’t have. Things of this magnitude, when placed in my hands, can’t go well. I mean really. I once killed a cactus. Not entirely my fault, though. Darn thing jumped right out in front of me.

Image

So wow. I’ve never been nominated for anything before! Unless you count that one time I was named ‘Mother of the Year’ by…well…myself.

So this really amazing blogger/woman/hottest-thing-since-sunburn nominated yours truly (among others) for a crazy little thing called the Versatile Blogger Award.

I admittedly jumped up and down and shouted like my pants were on fire.

I’m flattered to be nominated, and I’m rather shocked that someone finds my musings interesting enough to give them a second glance! So a big thank you goes out to snoogiefisk over at mostlytrueramblings for the nomination!

So Here’s how it works:

1. Display the Award Certificate on your blog.

2. Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who nominated you.

3. Present 15 deserving bloggers with the award.

4. Link your nominees in the post and let them know of their nomination with a comment.

5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

And the nominees are:

The envelope, please, Bob.

Bob?

Wake up, Bob.

Bob’s a little slow on the uptake but good help is so hard to find.

Ah, there we go.

Artsy Susie (She’s my bestie and she’s, well…the best.)

The Dimwit Diary (I laugh until I pee myself. Seriously.) 

buffalotompeabody’s blog (He’s blind and he blogs. How amazing is that!? He’s the reason that I now laugh in the faces of my kids when they tell me “I can’t.”)

Communication Made Simple (He’s a fellow Jacksonvillain, and he has some great tips for success.)

IT’S A WONDERFUL F’N LIFE (Her pictorial stories will amaze. And F’n doesn’t mean what you think it means, either.)

It’s time to SHINE (And shine she surely does.)

WHIMSICAL ECLECTICIST (His daily…err hourly…err minutely bouts of whimsy make me smile.)

alienorajt (Musings that are fresh and well written.)

LOVELETTERSTOAGHOST (Touching poetry from the heart.)

Kerry’s Organized Chaos (Chaos has never been this cute.)

My Life In Color (She paints her life colorfully.)

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss (She loves to write, and she loves her cats…and I think her cats love to write, too.)

The World’s top 10…of Anything and Everything!!! (Okay, so maybe he really doesn’t need more awards but how can I resist? His pictorial lists are fabulous!)

Blue Loft (Beautifully written works of art.)

Ben’s Bitter Blog (He makes me laugh. I like that in a blogger.)

And there, folks, you have greatness.

Now, about these 7 interesting facts. Do you really want to know?

Should I tell them Bob?

Darn it, Bob, you’re really throwing me under the bus here.

Okay then, here goes nothing…

1. I once swallowed a bee while riding my bike.

2. I once got stung in the big toe by a bee while doing laundry in my parents’ basement.

3. I once moved a tire that had a nest full of angry bees in it.

4. Bees hate me. Obviously.

5. I recently watched a YouTube video of a bee giving some guy a high five.

6. I once got a “B” in high school. I was devastated. Let’s not talk about it.

7. I’ve been called the “B Word” more times than I care to count. Or admit to.

And there you have it. Pretty intense, I know.

Now on with the show!

 

Advertisements

Shoes Shmooze

Daily Prompt: These Boots Were Made for Walking

DSCN0013

The shoe racks in the Thrift Store

Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken you.

A couple of days ago, my husband and I were discussing the fact that I am just not a shoe nut. I asked him, “Does the fact that I really don’t care about shoes make me less of a woman?” He admitted that he and his wallet are thankful that they’re no big deal to me.

Oh, I’m sure that there are some cute ones in the thrift store that I manage, and that’s the nice thing about running a thrift store, you get first dibs on all the cool stuff. I scored a pair of brand new tennis shoes once because I really needed them, but otherwise, I really don’t give all those shoes a second thought other than to straighten them up after someone ransacks the racks.

My best friend though, Artsy Susie; that girl loves shoes. She goes crazy for shoes. Shoes are the first thing that she notices about a person’s outfit. We totally differ in that respect.

My daughter is a shoe hound as well. As a matter of fact, the whole conversation about my indifference toward shoes stemmed from the fact that she has 3 pairs sitting by the door, a pair in the back of my van, a couple pairs in the shoe basket in the closet, and 2 full bags of them in the trunk of my husband’s car. She doesn’t even wear half of them, but she sees a cute pair and just “has to have them”.

That’s never been me.

My own shoe arsenal consists of a pair of black pumps for special occasions, my black knee high boots, my good tennis shoes, my work tennis shoes, and my flip flops. That’s it. Five pairs. Now that I think about it, even that seems like too many for me. I’ll have to cut back.

I’d have to say that my favorite pair out of the 5 would be my black knee high boots. Those boots have history. They’ve been places. They’ve attended several Sunday church services and potluck dinners. They’ve gone out for anniversary celebrations with my husband. They’ve traveled across the ocean to the Bahamas and back on at least 4 different cruises. They were there when I gathered a group of old co-workers together back home that I hadn’t seen in 10 years. They danced with long lost friends at my 20 year high school reunion. They’ve also seen me 40 pounds less than I am now, so they’ve literally been with me through thick and thin.

DSCN0181

My work shoes, though, those are the most important shoes of the bunch. They’re covered in paint and falling apart, but they’re well used and abused because I’ve busted my tail to earn the almighty dollar. They’ve gone with me into some pretty harsh places. They’ve walked on some of the grungiest carpets known to man. They’ve stepped in gum, poop, oil, mud, paint, and countless other nasty things. These shoes are tough. They’re hardcore. They keep me from ruining any of my other pairs. So, in essence, they’ve taken the bullet for the rest more times than I can even count. These shoes deserve a medal for bravery.

DSCN0182DSCN0183

Considering what most shoes goes through during any given day, however, maybe they all do.

Grandmother Times Two

Image

Left:Grams, Middle:Me, Right:Bets

My grandmas were as diff’rent as night and day,
But both of them loved in their own special way.
I would have adored for them both just to stay,
But grandmas, I fear, must one day go away.

For some reason, I’ve been thinking about both of my Grandmothers a lot lately. I think that this dive into the memory pool is due mostly in part to the fact that during a recent vacation to visit my parents, my dad and I reminisced a bit about my Grandma Betty. “Bets” as she was called by all who knew her, had many eccentricities. My dad would always say that she was somewhat of a cross between Phyllis Diller and Lucille Ball.

The whole reminiscence was brought about by hot dogs. Yes, hot dogs.

We were preparing a dinner of what was supposed to be hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, and we realized after the hamburgers were finished cooking that we had forgotten to put the hot dogs on altogether. So, we just microwaved them instead. Bets would not have approved, for she liked her hot dogs hot off the grill, and burnt to a charcoal crisp. I mimicked her voice to my dad; that loud, gravelly voice filled with laughter that we would hear at every cook-out and function during the warmer months, calling to my dad as he stood over the grill. “Johnny, I want a black weenie,” she would say. We would all then burst into laughter at the sheer ridiculousness of that request.

We chuckled at the memory, my dad and I. Ah Bets, we sure do miss you.

So, I decided to dedicate today’s post to them; the Grandmothers that I loved, and ultimately lost.

When we’re children, we don’t stop to think about the fact that they won’t be there some day. Grandmothers just seem so eternal, as if they will always be permanent fixtures in our lives. We tend to take the quilts, cookies, and cuddles for granted until we wake up one day and realize that we aren’t young anymore, and neither are they. Then the inevitable happens; they leave us with nothing but memories of the love that they lavished upon us, and it’s too late to go back and savor every deliciously perfect moment that we were able to share with them.

My grandmothers were both very different, but they got along well. I can’t recall a Christmas, birthday, or any other major even in my life that they weren’t both there to celebrate with me; until they were gone. Then I noticed their absence even more than I noticed their presence at such events, because it left a gaping hole that had always been filled by their big happy hearts.

They both lived their lives at opposite ends of some stereotypical grandmother spectrum, but it’s hard to picture either of them any other way than how they simply just were.

Bets was a social butterfly, and after she was awake and dressed each day, she was off and running. My other grandmother, Grandma Groth, or “Grams”, was your typical grandmotherly type. She baked. She quilted. She knitted. My home is still graced by some of her lovingly crafted creations today.

Bets would start her day off with gin and juice and a morning smoke. Grams would start hers with a poached egg, toast, and coffee.

Grams gave the best hugs. Bets would cover your face in sloppy lipstick coated kisses.

If I wanted to find Bets, I knew to look at the American Legion. She would likely have beer in hand, and be perched upon the bar stool that she had claimed long ago and that had, by then, formed to fit the shape of her backside. If I wanted to find Grams, I knew that she’d either be at the local bowling alley, taking part in her senior’s league and staying young at heart, or in her own kitchen.

Grams loved to cook and bake, and her award winning confections were raved about by all that knew her. She made the most amazing chocolate chip cookies. She also made these things called “Butterhorns” that were to die for. They were basically croissants made from scratch with raspberry jam in the middle, covered with a thin layer of frosting and crushed walnuts. I can almost taste their soft, sweet deliciousness as I sit and call to mind the memory of them now. Bets, well…she could make a mean bowl of corn flakes. That was the extent of her culinary skill . She couldn’t be bothered spending her time tied to a kitchen.

Bets had this cackling, infectious laugh that you could hear from across the room. She also didn’t have much of a filter between her brain and her mouth. If she was thinking it, she said it, often to the point of embarrassment. “What are those red spots all over your face, Piggy-coo?” (Hated that name, I seriously did, especially since I struggled with my weight from about 8th grade on.) “They’re zits, Grandma. Thanks for pointing them out at my graduation party in front of all my friends.”

Grams had her “Grandma-isms”; all these silly little sayings that she’d use regularly that made no sense whatsoever.  “Kwitcherbelliachin”, which was coincidently displayed on a bright green plaque by her door, was what she would say if you were doing more than your fair share of complaining.  “Want an egg in your beer?” was given in response if you were just being too demanding. “Like poop through a tin horn.” (Okay poop wasn’t the exact word she used but you get the idea.) I think that one indicated swiftness. “Sugar jets!” was an exclamation of frustration. I’m sure that there were more, but those were the most prominent ones that come to mind.

I miss them both very much. Like all Grandmothers, though, their time on this earth was just way too brief.

Grandma Betty’s lifetime of drinking and smoking finally caught up with her, and she succumbed to her vices swollen and gasping for each shallow breath hooked up to a ventilator in the local hospital’s intensive care unit. When I was told that she had taken a turn for the worse, and would likely not last through the night, it took all the reserve I could muster to make the pilgrimage to visit her that one last time. I could hardly bear to see her like that, but I needed to say my good-byes. I knew that there would be regrets on my part if I didn’t.

She could do nothing more than move her eyes at that point, but as I held her swollen and limp hand in mine, she rolled her now kidney failure yellowed eyes  in my direction. I realized then that she was looking at me for the last time in this all too short and fragile life. As her eyes locked on mine, my tears started to flow. I read her goodbye written in those once vibrant eyes, and that brief goodbye gaze tore my heart out. I told her I loved her, kissed her clammy forehead, and made my departure. The woman that I had once thought to be immortal had fallen, and I could scarcely handle seeing her as less than the star of the one woman show that she had always been to all who knew her.

Grams went much more peacefully, and it was simply old age that finally got the better of the strong, independent, active woman that I had also thought would live on forever. It was in her sleep in the nursing home where she resided that she finally left us. I had already started my new life 1200 miles away by that time, and I received the phone call from my mother breaking the news to me.

I didn’t have the money for travel expenses, so I wasn’t able to make it to the funeral to pay my respects to Gram one last time. That fact devastated me almost as much as her passing, and I will always have pangs of regret because of it.

It was hard on me for a good long while to lose her, even though I only saw her toward the end during the 2 times a year that I made the trip home to visit. I would stop into the nursing home every time, and she would always recognize me, even though her moments of memory loss became more and more frequent with each passing year. I loved to walk into her room and hear her exclaim my name and watch her eyes light up with all the joy and wonder of one who has just spotted a celebrity in their presence. It always reminded me of just how much she genuinely loved me.

Even though I never got to truly say goodbye, I can rest assured that she knew I loved her, too.

If any of your grandmothers are still with you, appreciate them. They won’t always be there, so find the time to let them know you love them and enjoy each moment that you’re able to spend with them.

If you’re a grandmother yourself, just know that you’re loving presence is one of the greatest blessings that your grandchildren could ever receive, and they will one day realize it.

This little trip down memory lane has caused me to shed a few new tears, but they’re welcome tears. Tears of warmth. Tears of fondness. Tears of privilege at having had my grandmothers in my life.

I just looked up to see them both standing before me, smiles on their fading but not forgotten faces, and eyes filled with love.

It seems that they approve of this message.

The Story So Far…

large_open_book

Hopefully by now you’ve had the chance to read the previous story:

When A Good Internship Goes Bad

Or, if you’ve found that you just weren’t up to the task of taking in all those crazy details, allow me to summarize:

In a nutshell, I wrote some articles for a bridal beauty magazine…a magazine that proceeded to fall apart shortly after the articles were written. There was a huge blow up between the Editor in Chief/Founder and the Art Director. To make a long story short, the Art Director bought the magazine out from underneath the Editor in Chief because, for whatever reason, she had not fulfilled the registration and licensing requirements that go along with starting up a new business. The Editor in Chief was hot. She accused not only the Art Director of Stealing, but also anyone from the original magazine team that decided to remain with the Art Director and work for her.

Anyway, it was a bad situation. I think that they’re still embroiled in a bitter battle even now, months after the fact. No one is even working under the original magazine anymore, either. After all of the bad blood between the two, neither one of them wanted anything further to do with it. They parted ways and began separate magazine ventures, and so on and so forth.

Both parties involved had asked me to come and work for them. I stepped away from the whole mess and don’t work for either magazine. The drama just wasn’t worth it.

So, needless to say, my articles were never used.

I had told the EIC of the original magazine that she could still use my articles for her newest venture. She never said that she would or wouldn’t, and after a bunch of accusations and whatnot aimed in my direction, she  removed me from her Facebook contacts and did not speak to me again.  Pretty good indicator that my articles would not, in fact, be used.

So, I tried to give them over to my best friend to use. My best friend that now works for…the art director. Or, as far as the EIC is concerned, “the opposition.”

I just didn’t want to see my articles sit and rot. I put a lot of time and effort into writing them. As soon as the EIC saw one of my articles go up on the opposition’s website, however, she contacted me for the first time in months, hurling more accusations at me and rekindling the flames of drama fire that I assumed had died out. I then asked my friend to just take the article down.  Back to square one. My articles were sitting and rotting once again.

Then I got to thinking. They are my articles. I wrote them…and I do have my own blog that I write for almost daily. So why don’t I just share my articles myself? No muss no fuss.

So I set up a little side blog…kind of a tributary off the main river, to do just that. The reason being is that I kind of thought ‘My OCD Diaries’ would be a strange place to find articles written for a bridal magazine and blog. I’d rather keep to the basics here and save this site for my random ramblings and musings.

At any rate, you can now find my articles here:

The Little Articles That Could (But Didn’t)

There aren’t many of them, and I will not be writing more. What you see is what you get, so I hope that you enjoy them!

When A Good Internship Goes Bad

Image

I’m not here to lay the following information out for you in an effort to make a bad circumstance even worse. No, on the contrary, I’m writing this post with the hopes of generating some unbiased feedback in regards to my role in an uncomfortable situation.

I will do my absolute best to only give facts as I explain the whole ordeal. I’ve already been accused of gossip, slander, lying, backstabbing, and a whole list of unsavory transgressions.  I don’t wish to supply ammunition for further accusations.

As I have explained in several other posts, I recently did a short (6 months) stint as Media Director and contributing writer for a newly launching magazine. It was an internship; therefore I was not paid for my services during my time with the company. I enjoyed the job, however, and would still be a part of this venture today had things not gone so terribly awry. I had even signed a non-compete, non-disclosure contract.

I got the gig via a friend of my husband. He had been friends with her and her family before we had ever even met and married. So, he had known this woman for many years, even watched her mature from her early teens into the budding young entrepreneurial woman that I had agreed to work for.  As you can see, there was clearly history there. She was the one launching this magazine, and took on many roles as Editor in Chief/Owner/Founder. I shall just call her Boss Lady, for that’s what she was; my boss, and a lady.

Immediately after she agreed to grant me this internship, I eagerly dove into the job. My hard work didn’t go unnoticed, either. My insane organizational skills and work ethic lent considerable resourcefulness to the job. I hope that I don’t sound egotistical when I say that I quickly became an integral part of the team. She had told me on several occasions that, once my time of trial was up, I would definitely be hired on as a full time employee.

Boss Lady made mention of the fact that she was looking for a social media intern, so I had recommended my best friend (let’s call her Bestie) for the position. After asking Bestie if she wanted the position, she agreed, and I offered her number to Boss Lady. After a lengthy phone discussion, Boss Lady had decided to give her a chance with the company as well.

I also met several new people during my time there. One in particular, though, the boisterous and humorous art director, whom I shall just call ‘AD’, befriended me right from the start and we quickly fell into an easy and comfortable rapport.  Even more so than with I, was the close relationship that was starting to emerge between AD and Bestie. They liked each other right from the start, and talked often.

All of us on the small start-up team had our roles, some of us even taking on additional tasks until we started generating income and could further expand the employee roster.  Everything was running as smoothly as could be expected, with the occasional kink here and there that needed to be worked out. All was good, and dreams were being made reality. Or so I thought.

Not long after the team returned from a company trip to New York (this trip did not include me), all hell broke loose.  AD was, unbeknownst to the rest of us at the time, unhappy with the way that the company was being run. Apparently some words were exchanged during the trip, but I was not there so what I have heard was said boils down to a matter of heresy.

The fact though, is that AD then did some digging to find that the company name had never been registered or licensed.  I don’t know why. I have heard several reasons, none from the source, though, so again, heresy.

AD, given her newfound information, then decided to buy the company out from underneath Boss Lady. She met with her after to lay it all out on the table, explain what she had done and why, and see if some sort of agreement could be reached. AD said that she had offered Boss Lady a 50/50 partnership, but again I was not there for that fateful meeting, so I could not claim this statement to be gospel truth.

Now let me just stop right there and say that once I had found out that I had been working for a company that technically didn’t legally exist, asking for product samples and sending emails with my name attached on behalf of the company, I wasn’t overly happy. I had put my neck on the line, as did the rest of the team. Had any of the companies that I had contacted and made requests of decided to look into the matter and discover the fact that we were non existant, I could have gotten into a whole mess of hot water.

Still, I didn’t agree with the move that AD had made. I feel that a discussion should have been had prior to this point. Had AD gone to the Boss Lady and said, “Look, I know the company isn’t legal, and we need to do something about this for the sake of those involved,” the entire catastrophe that followed could have possibly been avoided.

Boss Lady was understandably upset. She wanted no part of a partnership.

A blow up of epic proportions ensued, with a lot of mudslinging, threats of lawsuits, lawyers, police, texts, phone calls and just plain ugliness. Again that’s just one side of things. I was forwarded some of the texts, but I don’t have both sides of the story. I can say with utmost certainty, though, that both sides did not just walk away peacefully. I was there for one of the angry, confrontational meetings.

Both women went their separate ways to eventually start up opposing magazine ventures. I was asked to choose a side. I really liked AD, and I had listened to many of her ideas and thought she had good business sense and could make the venture work. There was history and friendship with Boss Lady, though, and things there were much more involved than just a simple job. Our kids are enrolled in her mother’s private school. My husband was friends with the family before my time, and I didn’t want to destroy that bond. No, working for AD wasn’t really an option for me.

Still, however, I struggled with joining Boss Lady’s team. She wasn’t always the best at communication during my time working for her, and the drama of the whole situation was just getting to be way too much. I felt like I was the rope in a crazy game of tug of war, and it was really stressing me out. I liked them both, and the battle wasn’t my own, so I couldn’t understand why Boss Lady thought that it would just be a no-brainer for me to walk away from AD altogether. It had to be all or nothing, though, and I figured that I would be met with anger and opposition from Boss Lady if she knew I hadn’t turned my back entirely on AD, so that made the whole ordeal that much harder on me.

I had a Bahamas cruise coming up in just a few short weeks, so I asked Boss Lady if we could discuss my decision whether or not to stay on after that time. We agreed to meet for coffee upon my return.

I had continued to struggle with a decision, until Bestie informed me (2 days before my cruise, no less) that she had decided to go to work for AD. I knew that this wouldn’t go over well with Boss Lady, but it was a business opportunity for Bestie, and it would be ridiculous for anyone to think that I had control over her actions and could tell her what to or what not to do. She was happy in her decision, and I was happy for her.

I then knew that the decision had been made for me. I would step away from the job entirely, because the conflict of interests that would be created by me working for Boss Lady while Bestie worked for AD just wouldn’t be good at all. If any information got leaked from one to the other, or if one of them came up with a similar idea to the other, all fingers would have pointed immediately in my direction. Thank you, but no thank you.

So as soon as I got back from the cruise and some much needed rest and relaxation, I called Boss Lady to break the news to her. I admitted to her that I had known about Bestie’s decision to work for AD since a couple of days before my cruise, I just didn’t want to deal with it until my return. Understandable, right? Since my idiot self admitted that fact, though, in the interest of full disclosure, I was accused of “withholding information” from Boss Lady. I wasn’t withholding any information. I was simply putting it off until a more feasible time.

Boss Lady wasn’t happy with Bestie, either, as I had predicted. Bestie was accused of “stealing” from Boss Lady, right along with AD. Stealing what, I don’t know. Ideas I suppose, even though Bestie didn’t walk away privy to any more ideas than she had entered with. Or perhaps AD and Bestie were being accused of stealing the company? Kind of hard to steal something that no one actually legally owned to begin with, I suppose. Either way, I was told that Bestie would then be investigated for stealing. The only crime that she’s guilty of committing is agreeing to work for the opposing team, and that’s only a crime committed against Boss Lady.

So I stepped away completely from both parties to the accusations from Boss Lady and family that I really hadn’t, and was in fact, working for AD. Now, the truth to that statement depends on how you look at things.  I, of course, still talk to Bestie. Bestie has admin rights to AD’s blog, and is often in charge of writing daily posts. Bestie will occasionally ask me, “Hey would you mind red-penning my post before I put it up?” I of course always agree. So, if that is, in fact working for AD, then well, I am guilty as charged.

A short while after my phone call to Boss lady letting her know that I would be stepping away from the job and why, she removed me from her friends list on Facebook. Reason being is that I had written another post pertaining to the seeking of vengeance, and she decided that it had just hit too close to home in the illustration that I had used in my post, and that I was gossiping about her.  That was it. Back turned, bridges burned. Apparently, what I had been trying to avoid by stepping away completely from both sides was not, in fact, avoidable at all.

I suppose I’m not entirely innocent in that, though. I had used an example of a story that I had heard from Bestie via AD, as an example to make a point regarding something I had learned about vengeance. Not to actually gossip, though. I never mentioned any names in that post.

I had not heard from Boss lady again after that.

Until today.

Now, during my time with the original magazine, I had written several articles, most of which never had the chance to be used. I did research and had time invested into each one. It’s safe to say that I even worked hard on these articles.

When I walked away from the job, I offered the articles to Boss Lady. Verbally. She never responded as to whether or not she would indeed use them. I figured that the removal of myself from her friends list and the accusations that followed were enough of a giveaway that she would not, in fact, want my articles.

One month went by. Then two, three, four, five. Five months now, and still, no articles of mine were used. I have some great articles that I poured hard work and time into sitting in a folder on my laptop virtually rotting. So, I told Bestie, when she was so swamped with work that she hadn’t had a chance to come up with a daily blog post yet, “Here. Take these articles. I hate to see them go to waste. Just please put your own name on them. I don’t want to be accused of associating with or working for AD.

So she did. One went up on the blog today.

That’s when the message from Boss Lady, who I had not heard from in months happened. The accusations and drama started up again. I asked Bestie to just remove the article, and I spent the rest of this afternoon stressed out.

So after all of this, the real question that I want to pose to anyone who will bother to read this is:

Was I in the wrong for not wanting to see my articles rot and offering them to Bestie to be used? Should I have let the articles rot anyway as to not further burn my bridges with Boss Lady and potentially even ruin my husband’s relationship with the family? I had said that I was not working for AD and wanted to remain true to my word, but these articles were written back when the original magazine existed. I have not written any new ones since the implosion of the company. If we really want to delve into the who’s and the why’s, the articles were written during the time of the original magazine, which AD has legal ownership of now, essentially giving her rights to them anyway.

I’d love some input on the matter. If I am clearly in the wrong, please let me know.

Gamer/Blogger/Artist

Daily Prompt: On the Edge

We all have things as need to do to keep an even keel — blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. What’s yours?

Image

There are 3 activities that keep me grounded and help take the focus off of my OCD. I sometimes get so immersed in these things that I’ll spend hours involved in them, and will even forget to do routine things, like have lunch or dinner. However, I figure skipping a meal is a pretty fair exchange for an activity that keeps me from giving in to, or even thinking about ritualistic behaviors.

First of all, I have a seemingly endless imagination and love to indulge in a good online role playing game from time to time. I’ve found that lately though, since I’ve discovered the thrill of writing and spend an infinite amount of time on my blog, my hours spent gaming have greatly dwindled. Truth be told, I haven’t logged into the game I like to play in weeks. I still love it, however, and consider myself to be somewhat of a “gaming geek.”

I used to be big into World of Warcraft, but woke up to reality one day to realize that the game had taken over my life, even more so than my OCD. I couldn’t even go places without limiting my time away from home because I “had to be back to raid.” I had all but sold my soul to a high end raiding guild. I had to have the best gear for my character, the most raid points to obtain that gear, all of the top achievements, etc. It wasn’t just an outlet for me at that point, it had become an addiction. I had to put down the staff, and back away from the mage. I haven’t been back since.

My current gaming drug of choice is Forsaken World. It’s free, there are no raids, and I can play at my leisure. I have to admit that I did spend a few dollars to obtain the most amazing mount EVER, though. I just had to have her. Her name is Princess, and she’s a pink Alpaca, with a tiara, and bows, and bells, and I adore her. She’s just a whole load of awesome.

Image

Anyway, writing happens to be the second activity that keeps my mind and hands busy so that my OCD won’t. I never really knew that I could write until I did a short stint as Media Director and contributing writer for a friend’s bridal magazine. Everyone loved my articles, and I was instantly hooked on the art of writing from that point on. I was a little devastated when the job fell through, simply because I enjoyed the writing aspect of it so much. I started to pour my creative juices into this blog, though, so now my inner author is satiated once again.

Image

Last but not least, I’m also a creator. An “Arteest”. I love to make something out of seemingly nothing; words on a blank page, a picture brought to life on paper, a fresh coat of paint completely changing the appearance of something that wasn’t very vibrant or noticeable before. Any new way that I can create, shape, mold, or change an object into something that it wasn’t before pleases me immensely.

I weeded through my portfolio files for a sampling of my artwork to share with you. I selected a project that’s one of my personal favorites.

In the city I live in, football is HUGE. We have Florida Gator fans, Jacksonville Jaguar fans, NCAA college team fans, you name it; the crowd here loves it. So, I was commissioned by a local football buff to turn a black panther coffee table into a Jaguar table, in honor of the Jacksonville Jaguars. There’s a sheet of thick, rounded glass that fits over the top of this sculpted base to create a flat surface. It’s a cool little table, really. I’m sorry that I don’t have a beginning picture of the panther that it was, since I hadn’t really thought to take one before I dove right into the project. Here, however, is the work in progress, and the finished product. Enjoy!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Procrastinate? Me? Yeah, Right.

Daily Prompt: Procrastination

What have you been putting off doing? Why?

Image

I really tend NOT to procrastinate at all if I can help it.

Getting stuff out of the way is a nice little side effect of having OCD. The anxiety that I feel when something’s hanging over my head waiting to be done, weighing on my mind, worrying me, and stealing my focus away from more important things is…well…just not worth it. I feel much freer if I just get things done as soon as possible.

Image

Now, I’m a yes person. The letters N and O really aren’t that hard to pronounce when put together, but for whatever reason, my tongue, lips, and vocal cords have the hardest time working these 2 letters into an audible, spoken word.

So, there have been times (not many though), when I’ve agreed to do something out of habit, and after I’ve had a chance to really sit and think it over, have simply decided not to, for whatever reason; lack of time, lack of resources…sometimes, even a lack of desire. In my mind, though, a task that I’ve changed my mind about doing is much different than just plain putting it off. I really do try my best to be true to my word, however. I really like being someone that people can depend on. It makes me feel good.

Right now I can honestly say that there are only 2 things on my plate that I should do, but just haven’t yet.

One is finishing this:

Image

This guy has been sitting unfinished inside my drawing tablet in the closet for a while now. I hate to leave a project unfinished. I’ll always work on one until it’s completed before moving on to the next. It’s just how I am. Putting my focus into too many projects at a time just feels chaotic to me. My daughter is the exact opposite, but just as artistic as I am. Her room is currently littered with half-finished projects.

I really should finish it, and I’d like to finish it, but my mom asked for her Collie Concepts book back ages ago, which rendered me unable to finish the drawing unless I had a picture to work from. In theory, though, I could go to the local public library about a mile away (if that) and check the book out and go from there. I suppose I’ve just been too lazy to follow through this time around.

Secondly, I need to type up an outline to present at the upcoming orientation for the high school art class that I’m going to be teaching once a week at the co-op that our kids attend. An outline that covers classroom rules, how I intend to grade, what the class will entail, a semester project list, etc.

Image

I haven’t done this yet because my absent minded husband (who will be teaching Geometry and Chemistry 4 hours a week this year) conveniently misplaced the notes that we had from the teachers meeting that explained exactly what information we should include in our outlines. I have some of what needs to be covered committed to memory, as you can see, just not all of it. If there’s anything I hate just as much as not finishing a project that I’ve started, or not getting a task out of the way a.s.a.p., it’s trying to “wing it.” I’m an information person. I need things spelled out for me, sometimes in detail. I don’t want vague. I can’t work with vague.

Eventually though, and soon because orientation is in 8 days, I’ll just have to suck it up and do the best I can with the information that I remember, and hopefully it will turn out to be sufficient.

What a great way to gain students and prove that I’ll be a competent teacher, huh?

Image