Chaos creators

Chaos Is My Name

 

Reading my blogging pal’s (Amy) blog post today about cleaning house http://survivingmiddleage.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/cleaning-house-in-all-ways/#comment-2407  triggered the idea for this post…so, thanks Amy!  You know we writers are always looking for something to write about.

There are people in our lives who create chaos…some people who do it wherever they go and others who are more selective, creating chaos in certain situations.  I’ve had people in my life who live for drama, some that I’ve worked with, some that I’ve lived with, some I’m related to, and some that I’ve called friends.  With co-workers, I’m not sure there’s a lot you can do to avoid them short of getting a new job.  What I’ve learned to do is to simply not interact with them in any way other than a professional manner…don’t take breaks with them, don’t socialize with them outside of work, don’t get caught in “water cooler discussions”.  I’ve worked with people who were so negative about everything and everyone, sometimes I didn’t realize the extent until they’d left the company.  So much for my awareness, huh?  Or maybe that’s an indication that my method works…

With friends…that’s where it gets tough.  You’ve often known these people for years, you love them like family.  But they just drag you down with the dramatic tragedy that consumes their lives.  When you talk with them, it’s all about them…all about their money problems, their family problems, their job problems, and so on and so on.  Now I’m not saying that there’s not going to be some ebb and flow in a friendship…there will be times when one friend is more needy than the other.  In those times, the other friend provides support, understanding, compassion, and sometimes help such as money or groceries or a car ride to the doctor.  That’s what friendship is.  But when one friend is constantly the taker to the point of not having a clue about what’s going on in the other friend’s life…well, that’s when it might be time to rethink the friendship.  You have to decide if you can continue in a friendship that is decidedly one sided…if you can, good for you.  If not, well…then you need to figure out what to do to make the situation work for you.

Ahh….and then there’s family.  Family…the people who are supposed to love you no matter what.  And the people who know, better than anyone else in the world, how to push your buttons.  Sad to say, but in dealing with some members of my family, I’ve learned that the best thing to do is never have a conversation about hot-button topics (you know the ones…religion, politics, social issues, money). I simply won’t do it.  I’ll walk away before I do it.  Does that make me a coward?  Or does it make me a person who doesn’t want to engage in heated discussions with people I love?  Why go looking for an argument?  Of course, that’s exactly what a chaos creator does…they want to start an argument, they want to score points, they want to tell you what’s wrong in how you’re living your life.

So, if you have someone in your life who causes your blood pressure to rise every time you’re around them, every time you talk to them, every time you read their Facebook posts…well, maybe it’s time to seek a little peace in your life…or not…it’s up to you.  As for me, I’m at a place in my life where I like peace over chaos…well, except for the times I’m the instigator…uh oh…maybe I have a little chaos creativity in me as well…

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Old friends and precious friendships

O'Charley's

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I was hard at work today when someone walked by me and told me to get another register open.  I looked up and saw a couple of my oldest, dearest friends.  They were in the big city doing some early Christmas shopping and stopped in to pick up a few things.  Then we set up a time to go to lunch and they left.

Of course, when they came back to get me for lunch, I was on register.  I got someone to cover for me and headed out the door.  We ended up going over to O’Charleys where we enjoyed a very tasty lunch and got caught up on all of the happenings in our lives.  What a pleasant way to spend lunch, sure beat eating a frozen dinner in the break room!

I’m always pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to be with Cindy and Kevin even after not having seen one another for quite a few months.  That’s true friendship for you.  And I always count it as a blessing that they know the worst about me and want to be with me anyhow~You can’t ask for more than that.

The long and winding road to fitness, day 96

Hyundai i30

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This was quite a busy day for me today…busy and productive, and I wasn’t even at work! A dear friend of mine came down for the day and we did some running around, I had to go to the license branch, she had to go to the dentist, and in between we did a little of this and a little of that.  While she was at the dentist, I went just down the road to Goodwill…hadn’t been there for a good little while…ended up buying some books, no clothes…honestly, there were too many people looking at the clothes that I wanted to look at, so I gave up, walked over to the books and found a few that I hadn’t read…well, I found lots of books that I hadn’t read, but not a lot that I was interested in reading.  So I ended up spending about $5….not bad!  While I was killing time and Margaret was getting her mouth pushed on and prodded, I drove over to the Hyundai dealership and drove thru their lot.  I’m in the market for a car, but I don’t want to have to make car payments, so it won’t be an expensive car.  Just something to get me around town, up to Indy and down to Mitchell on occasion.  So let me know if you hear of anything…well, not you Simone…I’m not coming out to Kansas to pick up a car.

After all of our more pressing errands were taken care of, we decided to go to WalMart…have I mentioned that I hate going in to WalMart?  Well, I do.  There are always way too many people there and they’re always in my way.  Ambling through WalMart isn’t high on my list of enjoyable activities…I usually just try to get in and out as quickly as possible. 

We stopped at a local restaurant (Cloverleaf…a locally owned family diner, not too many of those around these parts any more) for lunch.  We both ordered grilled tenderloin sandwiches.  I can’t even tell you the last time I ate one of those.  It was quite tasty and now I’m good on the grilled tenderloin for another five years or so.  I had a few fries with my sandwich, why is it that these places always give you way too many fries?  I ended up eating about half the bun on my sandwich and maybe 8 to 10 of the fries.  So I’m feeling pretty good about the lunch.

At the end of our day, we stopped at Jiffy Treat.  I went in intending to get their 8-calorie per ounce “ice cream”, but found the homemade pumpkin ice cream to be irresistable…and delicious.  Ahh…had I been in Mitchell for the annual Persimmon Festival, I would have been able to get persimmon ice cream.  If you haven’t tried it, don’t wrinkle your nose at it.  Persimmons are really quite versatile…pudding, cookies, bread, ice cream…yum, yum!!

So not a lot of exercise for the day and not the best eating either, but it was a fun day with an old friend and that doesn’t happen too often.  Thanks for everything, Margaret!  You rock!!

Oh, how I hate good-byes

Some of the unique shops in an area of Nashvil...

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I do, I really do, hate to say good-bye…I’ve never been good at it, it always makes me sad and usually makes me cry.  Of course this all goes back to those childhood issues of abandonment, but that’s a story for another day.  Today I want to talk about saying good-bye to a girl (her choice, instead of being called a  woman…she said woman is how you refer to her mother, not her) I’ve worked with for twelve years.    During that twelve-year period, we’ve talked about a lot of things, shared a lot of jokes and laughter, indulged in a little gossip, shared recipes and make up tips, cried a little, argued and made up a few times, and just generally developed a good relationship.

Susie started out working full-time in the receiving department, but our company began having more and more of the products we carry delivered directly from our warehouses, so that position was done away with.  In the reorganization, several positions were combined into one part-time position which Susie accepted…it wasn’t an easy transition for her…it wouldn’t have been an easy thing for anyone to accept…but she did the job well.

She eventually decided to look for a full-time position elsewhere and found a job in a medical manufacturing company that would be full-time and provide her with benefits.  When she told me she had turned in her two weeks’ notice I all but called her a liar…I thought she was joking.  But, come to find out, she wasn’t.  So now it’s time to say good-bye.  Today is Susie’s last day with us, truck day of all days…now that’s some kind of dedication to make that be your last day.

I sincerely hope this new path that Susie has chosen to take will provide her with happiness, that she’ll enjoy her new job and quickly make new friends among her co-workers.  Transition is never easy, it’s often more comfortable to remain in our current situation even though it isn’t exactly what we want.  So Susie, I just want to say, “Thanks for the memories.  I hope we’re able to keep in touch and maybe now we’ll have the time to go do some shopping in Nashville, Indiana or Greenwood.  Best of  luck to you, girl.”

I have a lot of really cute pictures of Susie, but she said she’d hunt me down and kill me if I posted them…I figure this one should be okay since you can’t see her face.  I have never been able to understand her aversion to having her face posted online (hmm…Susie, are you hiding from the FBI or in the witness protection program?), she’s just so darn cute!  I’m really going to miss you, Susie…love ya bunches.

The blessing of friendship

The cast of Friends in the first season. Front...

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When I mentioned visiting with a good friend in yesterday’s blog, I started thinking about how truly blessed I am to have so many dear friends.  Then that got me thinking about different types of friendships and what they mean.  Some friendships last for a short period of time while others are there for the long haul.  That doesn’t mean that one has less value, only that they are different.

I have friends I went to school with, people who I ran around with, went to ball games and concerts with, talked with on the phone.  We were great friends while we saw each other at school every day, but then lost touch and drifted away once we were out of school.  When we were kids, I bet we all would have sworn that we’d be friends for life, never allowing that friendship to fade away.  But, as for most people, life happens, pulling people in different directions, leading us to take different forks in the road.  And that’s okay.  That doesn’t do anything to diminish the friendship we shared or the fond memories we all have of our time together.

I’m fortunate enough to also have school friends (some even from grade school…hey, Cindy!) that are still in my life.  We don’t see one another as often as we’d like, but when we do, we have so much fun.  It’s almost like those school days never ended.  I moved away from my home town, but not too far, so, at times, I still manage to see some of my friends from school .  I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but I’ve never gone to one of my class reunions…how crazy is that?  So, when’s the next one?  I think I just may have to put that on my calendar and make an appearance.

Then there are the friends I made when I had my own business.  I owned a pizza place from the time I was in my early twenties until my mid thirties. I met so many wonderful people while running that business.  And some of those people have continued to be some of my dearest friends.  When we get together, it’s like we only saw each other a week or two ago even though it might have been several months since we were together.  We’ve kept up on all of the happenings in all of our lives.  We used to compare ourselves to the cast of Friends…we sure shared some goofy experiences.  I seem to remember a bunch of us going out to what we thought was a devil worshipping commune late one night.  And no, we were not drunk!  But we had a lot of fun.  Didn’t see any members of a satanic cult though…lucky for us!

Then there are the friendships of neighbors and co-workers.  You spend a lot of your time in the company of co-workers, sometimes more than you spend with your family.  And friendships develop over time.  I had friends at my previous job, most of whom I lost contact with once I moved on.  I still run into an old co-worker occasionally, and we reminisce about the old days.  But I’ve discovered that most of those friendships were based more in proximity and time  together, not deep and lasting friendships.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with that.  We shared a lot of laughter and a few tears (a couple of our co-workers  died much too young) and being able to support one another through all of the tough times helped us all.  I also had neighbors in my hometown that I was friends with, but it had more to do with living close to one another rather than shared interests.  I lost touch with all of my former neighbors.  I know it doesn’t always happen like that for some people, but it did for me.  Perhaps, in part, because most of my neighbors were elderly and I didn’t really have a lot in common with them other than us being neighbors.  But we helped one another out.  I’d shovel snow for them and share the bounty of my garden with them.  They, in return, would watch my place when I was away and share their home-cooked meals with me.  The friendship we had was good for all of us.  The fact that it didn’t continue after I moved doesn’t diminish that.

And then there are all of the online friends I’ve made over the years.  I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting some of them, hope to meet others someday, while I will probably never meet the vast majority of them.   We’re still able to share snippets of our lives, celebrate our successes, offer comfort in times of sorrow, and get a glimpse of  the day-to-day happenings of the lives of our online friends.  You might not call your best friend from grade school at two in the morning, but you can feel comfortable posting a blog at that time, knowing that your online friends will read it and respond. 

I have friends at my current job (people who are still there and people who have moved to the next phase of their lives), some of whom I truly believe will always be a part of my life, even when I move on to another city (sometime, somewhere).  With Facebook, texting, blogging, Skype, oh yeah, and actually talking on the phone (almost forgot that one), it’s much easier to maintain contact than it was in the past.  My hope is that we’ll continue to be friends down the road.

So here’s to friends, old and new.  A  friend is someone who knows you well and still wants to spend time with you, who accepts you just as you are without trying to make you into someone you’re not.  When you’re counting your blessings, don’t forget to include all of those friends.  Good friends are indeed the family we choose rather than the family we are born into.

The long and winding road to fitness, day 34

Icees!

What a wild and crazy day this was.  The auditor is in a nearby store, we have to be prepared…our district manager is coming for a visit,  more preparation.  Run, run, run…oh, no auditor today.  Oh, the district manager will be visiting on Saturday instead of today…so, another day wasted without getting any real work done…ahh…gotta love that!!

But I also had another good day with the eating and exercising…finished the day with 1625 calories and walked for 40 minutes,did lower body strength training, 8 exercises, 2 sets of each…not bad, not bad at all.  There was one time that I thought about heading to the break room for a bag of chips from the vending machine, but I ate an Icee  (I don’t know if that’s what they’re really called…maybe not…it’s those frozen slushy kind of things in the long tubes.)  that someone was nice enough to bring for all of us…and on a hot day like today, that tasted really good.  Totally satisfied me.

I also had a nice visit with a good friend (hey, Margaret)…she moved out of town, so now we don’t see one another like we did in the past.  We’ve got to get together and do something fun before summer ends.  We used to go to auctions and festivals frequently, now we see one another only occasionally.  So today was good.  Isn’t it a blessing to have good friends?  And have you noticed, the best of friends can pick right up where they left off no matter how long it’s been since they were together?

What fun things do you do with your friends during the summer?