Saturday, January 11, 2014

Still the Bitch

Seven years ago, my mom died in January from complications of diseases caused by smoking. The last few years of her life she couldn't walk very far, needed oxygen, couldn't drive, had a stroke that finally paralyzed her and caused her to not know me. It was awful!

In January 2013, I told my husband he needed to quit smoking. I explained that I had had enough. I was tired of the lies, tired of the sneaking around and seriously tired of the phlegmy cough he had had for months. He needed to quit!

He said he had a plan, and if I would just leave him alone, he will quit smoking in 2013. He had a date in his mind and he did not want to talk to me about it. OK, I thought, I can live with this.

March rolled around. He had not quit smoking. I again brought it up. Look, I said, you told me you have a plan. I have seen no change in behavior, your phlegm is getting worse, you need to quit.

Again, I have a plan...yadda, yadda yadda.

Then he has a HUGE blood clot behind his knee. This blood clot could potentially kill him. Everyone on the face of the earth knows that smoking is a leading cause of potentially deadly blood clots -- well except smokers....

I was informed that he was scared. I believed that being that scared you might die might somewhere in the back of your brain make you think quitting would be a good option. I was wrong. Didn't even stop the smoking while there was still a clot.

Months later I have another conversation: You need to quit. Response: I have a plan.You get the picture. At one point he had even recruited a friend to join him in quitting.

So now we are an entire year after that first conversation. A full year after I was told to get off his back, he had a plan. Months after a potentially deadly blood clot... and he is still smoking. Yesterday I asked if he quit smoking, and he said no.

Right now I am extremely angry! All of these negative thoughts about every smoker I know are running through my head.
Look at how arrogant they are!
1) If there is just one smoker in a room, everyone in the room must suffer.
2) If you are playing darts or cards, and a smoker needs to have a cigarette, everyone else's fun must come to a complete a total stop while they go outside for a cigarette. And if they go outside in a group, forget them ever coming back in a timely manner.
3) They just assume the rest of us will take care of them when they can't walk, can't breath or even after having a couple strokes.

So, what do I do? Wait around for this grand plan that will never happen? Do I wait for the next blood clot that kills him, or leaves him paralyzed? Do I stick around and watch this? Or not...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Candy Crush is Ruining My Life

The characters in Candy Crush look innocent, don't they?
"My name is Cindi, and I'm addicted to Candy Crush."

Then you all reply, "Hi, Cindi!"

It might seem extreme, but I'm pretty sure I am a Candy Crush addict. Here is my evidence:
  • Over the last few months, there has been no quality content added to my blogs, podcast or Facebook pages.
  • I have been looking for a new job, but have sent out only one resume.
  • I am trying to write two different books, but have generated no content.
  • I'm not getting enough sleep because I lay in bed playing the game.
  • I don't walk over my lunch hour because I play the game.

I have friends who are just as affected because that is the point of the game—get your friends on Facebook to play with you. We help each other by sending lives and extra moves. But here is the worst part—you NEED your friends to move on to the next world. You get on a roll, you are having fun beating level after level, when all of the sudden you cannot play anymore unless a friend responds to your plea to unlock the next world. So, of course you invite more friends to play so you have more friends who will help you.

The game is sneaky, too. I found out early that the more I play, the harder each level is. If I got frustrated and just stopped playing for a few days, I would suddenly be able to beat a difficult level with my first try! And if you accumulate some free extras, like sprinkles or fish, and use them, the level will be so difficult you won't be able to win. It even encourages you to have the game on several devices—your computer, your phone, your tablet—so you can keep playing.

If you get too frustrated, there is a solution—you can BUY extras, like sprinkles, fish or more moves. You can make this purchase before you start a level or in the middle if you know you are not going to beat it. (I read that the creators of this free game are making millions from people who buy these extras just to beat a level.)

I try not to be a conspiracy theorist, but the whole thing reminds me of a Star Trek Next Generation episode called The Game. Riker brings a video game to the Enterprise from a planet he visits and gets everyone addicted to it except Wesley and Data. Welsey is hunted down and forced to play while Data's power is turned off. Even super cool Picard gets addicted! After Data eventually saves everyone, the crew learns the purpose of the game: It made them susceptible to the power of suggestion, compelling them to aid the games' creators—the Ktarians—in an attempt to take control of the Enterprise (and eventually the Federation.)

Sound familiar?

So, just for today—one day at a time—I will not play Candy Crush. I will try to get my life back and maybe I will even save the world.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I am the Bitch

The other day my husband snuck off to have a cigarette with a friend and I said, "I'll nag you about this later." The friend said, "Get off his back!"

I was stunned the friend would say something like that to me. Here is someone I like -- and he was judging me for not wanting my husband to smoke!

As I thought about it over the next few days, I realized that I am the Bitch.

My husband doesn't go to the "smoking lounge" at the local pub with his friends when I'm with him, and everyone knows it's because of me. I am the Bitch preventing him from being social. He doesn't smoke in our house and sneaks out to the garage, because I am the Bitch. At the recent dart tournament, he didn't go out to hang out with his friends to smoke because I am the Bitch.

He has quit smoking several times, and I even bragged how proud I was of him only to find out he had been sneaking cigarettes behind my back and everyone knew but me, because I am the Bitch.

Let's set the record straight about this Bitch:

  • Before we even talked about getting married, I made it very clear I would NEVER be married to a smoker. He had quit smoking before we were engaged.
  • When he first started smoking again, AFTER we were married, it was because of a major stress in our lives and he assured me it would be temporary. It wasn't.
  • He said he would quit when our daughter was born. He didn't. I had to make him not smoke in the car with her or in the same room with her!
  • My mom started smoking when she was 16. Before she died, she had COPD and emphysema, and could barely walk. She needed oxygen and had had several small strokes. It was horrible watching her suffer. It was horrible watching her continue smoking. She had a severe stroke that did not kill her, but paralyzed her, and she had to be in a nursing home. It was horrible! I do NOT want that in my life!
  • My grandparents all died of smoking related illnesses. I do not want that in my life.
Over the years he did quit a couple of different times, but it never took. He even quit for his 40th birthday, which was the last time I saw him with a cigarette in his hand. I think that lasted a month.

Fast forward to now.
This year he had a blood clot behind his knee that could have killed him if it had gotten loose. He said it scared him to death! Yet, it did not scare him enough to remove one of the causes of blood clots. (All of our "smoking" friends defend him. Smoking isn't the only cause of blood clots, they say.)

He is getting the phlegmmy cough in the morning, the one people with bad lungs end up with. 

I do NOT want to be pushing him around in a wheelchair because he can't walk 10 feet. I don't want to have to worry about his oxygen tanks. I don't want to worry about strokes or cancer or emphysema...

All I want is for my husband to have a long and healthy life -- with me!

And if that makes me a Bitch -- well, I'm proud to be that Bitch. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Grey's Journey?

When did everything a person does in life suddenly become a "journey".

Let me clarify, there are many things in life that can be considered a journey. People who successfully handle trials and tribulations can rightfully talk about their journey. People who have accomplished something that took a lot of time and effort, had ups and downs, was difficult ... I think they can all that a journey.

But "journey" has become so overused, I'm tired of it.

Recently I was trying out a new podcast to see if I will listen to it. It happened to be about the TV show Grey's Anatomy.

One of the hosts said to the other: Discuss your Grey's journey.


Watching a TV show is not a life journey. It is not any other kind of journey. Watching a TV show is watching a TV show!

Needless to say, I stopped listening to the podcast and will not go back.

Don't even get me started on the use of "toppings"!

(For the record, toppings go on pizza and ice cream sundaes ... not coffee drinks!)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Big Picture

We all have things we need to do in the short term that we do not want to do. It is often very hard to get past the minutia of the minute, the irritation of the day, the pain of what happens in any one particular week.

But sometimes, you have to step back and take a look at the big picture. Why am I here? What is my goal? What am I trying to accomplish by doing this? Where do I want to be in an hour, week, month, year?

Today was one of those days when i had to be reminded about the big picture.

Today is Mother's Day. And my kids who all work in food service had the day off to spend with me! Unfortunately, the part-time job I recently picked up scheduled me to work from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Earlier this month my manager indicated that staff could not request off for holidays. I've worked in restaurants and in retail before -- I assumed that, like all of those jobs, Mother's Day was a holiday I could not ask off. I didn't find out until Thursday that I was scheduled to work today.

I was OK with it until I realized that I could have asked for it off! Seriously? The only woman in this department with children, and you scheduled ME to work Mother's Day?

Then I was pissed -- ROYALLY pissed! I am too old to be treated this way for a crappy part-time job!

After I calmed down, I took a step back and had a look at the big picture. I am at the part-time job for a reason. I have a plan that will take about a year to fulfill. 99% of the people I work with are very nice. Even the customers are mostly very nice. So, this one time, I have to work Mother's Day. I can live with it. I can get past this. And I can guarantee it will never happen again.

No, I don't "need" this particular job. But if I look at the big picture -- I WANT this job and it will get me where I need to be next year.

One thing I did learn is, it is not good to assume anything. Immediately after discovering that I was scheduled today, I asked off for every single day I wanted off through the month of July.


We all have those happy anniversary dates we cannot forget: first dates, first day at a new job, weddings, birthdays...

But we also have the sad dates we cannot forget, like the day a divorce is final, 9/11, or the day your parents died.

I bring this up because my in-laws died tragically in May more than 20 years ago. (If you have read this blog before, you know how they died, and I don't really want to get into that right now.)

For a very long time, the entire month of May would be difficult for my husband. Then for years, the week of the anniversary would be hard for him. Finally, just the day of their deaths was the hard day.

Most of the time he does a great job of not dwelling! People who do not know us would never guess that that day can be difficult.

But then some years we have the double whammy -- the anniversary of their deaths falls on Mother's Day.  This year -- today -- is the 25th anniversary.

A couple of days ago, I asked my husband if it would be hard for him, and he said no. We have great kids -- we count four now, even though only two are "officially" ours. And the kids do a great job of spoiling us both, so there really is no time to think about anything sad.

Still 25 years ago today, our lives changed in such a dramatic way! Sometimes I cannot believe that it has been 25 years already! And on other days, it feels as if it was an eternity ago -- it feels as if it happened to different people.

So, on this day when I am going to be spoiled rotten, I want to take a moment to remember the two best in-laws that ever were. If I could have planned a mother-in-law and father-in-law, it would have been you.

Mom and Grumpy -- we still miss you and think about you! Thank you for having been such a positive influence on me, even if it was for only four years!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Natural Consequences

Sometimes dumb decisions have consequences. I made a rather foolish decision Saturday night and I'm still paying for it this morning.

Because of this silly decision, I missed 6 hours at my new part-time job yesterday and a full day at my day job today. Ugh!

Here's what I did.

Saturday evening my husband and I were meeting a couple of friends out. Though hungry, I didn't want to take the time to cook anything -- I ate half of a big, blue cheese hamburger I saved from my lunch Friday. It tasted great!

What I had forgotten was, after Friday's lunch the burger sat on my desk unrefrigerated all afternoon. When I got home that evening, the burger sat on the counter for another couple of hours. Eventually, I put it in the refrigerator. Then I ate it Saturday night.

I woke up early Sunday morning -- not feeling right, but not feeling sick. I took a couple of Advil and went back to bed. An hour later I was so uncomfortable in the bed, I went downstairs to lay on the couch. I still did not feel right, and a screaming headache was building. A shower, more napping, laying around, more Advil. I felt worse and worse as the day went on and I finally started to throw up around noon.

At that point I finally called the part-time job and said I was too sick to come in. Unfortunately, I needed to call in earlier than 2 hours before my start time -- I called only 1 hr and 45 min before. I can't believe how bad I feel about that.

I expected to feel better today, and I did -- a little. But the screaming headache would not let up. I could not imagine driving with my head hurting like this! There is no way I would be able to concentrate on anything at the office.

So, one stupid decision has caused me two days of feeling crappy and about 13 of work I should be doing. I hope I've learned my lesson.