Under The Gun
     Lately, I've been finding myself under the gun to get my work done (both professionally and personally). I've come to realize that some pressure is great. I mean, when it's 4:30pm and I've got a report to update, there's a charge that I get knowing that "the clock is ticking" and I'm not sure if I'm going to make it or not.  There's gotta be something to that.  Is it the  rush of adrenaline that I get from the "Ooooh....You gonna be in troubulll..." feeling? Or is it flat out panic? I can't be sure. But what I do know is that I can only go like this for so long.  A self inflicted  since of urgency over my daily activities is going to push me into a world of permanent disorganization and make me a lifelong resident of Bellvue. Why is multi-tasking so great? When did "additional duties as assigned" become the norm? I mean, really, is the health insurance that great that I'm willing to spend another three hours on a project that won't be looked at by someone else for another 10 days? The answer, my friend, is  YES! At least when it comes to health insurance. 

 But I am committed! I am committed to making sure that I don't end up with more obligations than I can handle. I am committed to having my "me" time so that I can be more functional when that wave of adrenaline hits my system because  my 5 o'clock deadline is now my noontime nemesis. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I will try my best to avoid being an overachieving mutltitasker. It will now be my "Priority Number 1"  to tell Jan in accounting, that she can now give those infamous "TPS" reports to Frank Junior Associate, MMTGHM (Making More Than God and His Mother-for those of you who didn't recognize the credentials).  I will no longer be a slave to the company mantra, "Other duties as assigned."  No, Sir!

I am going to limit my obligations by learning to say, "No." You'll see. I'll be more efficient, less stressed and more focused as a result.

Well, at least until open enrollment.... Smiley
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He Likes Me, He Really Really Likes Me!
    When my husband's BFF told me that he believed my friend, "Luccio" had a crush on me, I almost choked from disbelief. Not that I'm chop liver (smoked ham, maybe)  but at 38, the last thing on my mind is some high school crush that a man may have on me. When I asked the BFF what made him think of such a thing, he told me that Luccio had this "way" that he exhibited when he was around me. "What way?" I asked, left brow arching. "Y'know. The way." He said.  "No, I don't know." I relented.
    As a young adult, I was not the most beautiful swan in the pond. I proudly represented the geeks and nerds of my generation--wire rimmed glasses and pompous scowl for all to beware--so it was not for me to inquire if someone liked me or not. My training was to love from afar but not up close and definitely not to look for signs noting a "way" about someone but BFF was insistent.
    "He likes you," he continued. "Because every time he's around you, he starts getting antsy; shaking his leg like a nervous puppy." 
    "Oh, C'mon." I say, blushing at the thought that someone could appreciate the adult version of my Freshman 15.
    When I asked my husband what he thought, he said, matter of factly, "Yeah, he does."
   What am I supposed to say to that? Luccio is definitely a nice guy. Shy, bright, very witty. Every thing my husband is but younger.  In fact, Luccio is ten years  younger than me so, it makes me wonder why he'd be so interested in someone like myself.
"Don't you see?" My husband continued. "You're smart, funny, and very cute. Who wouldn't like that?"
"But I'm fat," I say, degrading myself. "So?" My husband says. "You're not fat; you're chunky, kinda curvy and plush."
"Yeah, " BFF added, "curvy and plush."
"So, Luccio's into stuffed animals?" I ask.
"See?" My husbands laughs in exasperation. "That! He likes that! You don't even see it. You're such a nutty professor. That's what the whole draw to you is about."
"Huh..." I say, lost in my own thoughts.
"Well, even if he does like me; and I doubt that he does," I insist, "I just don't think of him like that. It's flattering, I guess."
    I think about all these conversations that I have with Luccio; conversations about politics, movies, relationships, and I wonder if I should even continue with such a friendship
. When I asked my husband if he feels threatened or annoyed he tells me, "No." "Really?" I ask.
 "Really." He says.
   "Oh..." I sigh.
"Well, it doesn't mean I'm not a little jealous. I mean, I like the guy; he's a great guy, but I don't want him hanging around you all the time. He needs to get a wife."
My laughter at my husband's comparison to the phrase "Get A Life" is loud, hearty, and unapologetic.
"See?" he says, taking my hand in his. "That. He likes that. And I like that, too."
I look at my husband and see his eyes sparkle. I mean, really really sparkle. I'm flattered that Luccio likes me, but I'm thrilled that my husband loves me.

Baby or Bust!
I have been married for nearing five years but my husband and I have been together for more than 10 years. In all that time, we've never had a child. He has no children from a "previous relationship" and neither do I.  A lot people ask us, "Why don't you have kids?" "Are you trying?" "Do you want the name of my doctor?" Most times I just brush these questions off because a) it's no one's business and b) it's no one's business.

For the most part, my husband and I agree that we want to have children -- someday. But that day hasn't come around and it's not until tax season that we really start to think, "Hey, maybe we should have a baby!" The main reason being that we wouldn't have to pay so much in taxes. Well, not that we wouldn't have to pay but at least there'd be some sort of discount. I mean, I have friends who get back $3,000 or more and I'm like, "Whoa! That's a lot of spare change!" At least to a couple with no kids. Sure, my friends with kids have to pay fees for daycare and there's all those school fundraisers and extracurricular activities but at the end of the day, there's so many discounts for kids and people with kids. I mean, kids 12 and under eat free! Kids under 30" ride free! All that kind of stuff. And not to minimize the hardships with kids--ear infections, broken legs, detentions, etc. but I can't help but feel that by April 15, my husband and I have missed out on something. Hmmm...

I guess the grass is always greener. I mean, even though I'd probably be eligible for some serious tax deductions, I  can't help but be grateful about the fact that my husband and I can plan our weekends without the thought of getting a sitter (at reasonable rates)  or that we can leave home late from work and not argue over who's turn it is to pick up "your child." Maybe someone else is saying, "Kwityerbitchin! You've got it made! No going to bed late. No emergency hospital visits. No parenting advice from everyone including God and his mother...Geez!" My how green the grass!

So, even though we will file our taxes  for a household of two (no dependents), I can't wait until we do have a kid because then our status changes--married with dependents. Smiley

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Law & Order Forever
I love Law & Order! I mean, I loooooooooooove Law & Order! This show has gotten me through the Monday's off and back to work on Tuesday. It has kept me sane when I had to endure a long 3-day weekend because I had absolutely $0 to my name for a trip to the next town that was 2hrs over. It's even nurtured me when I was sick and had no chicken soup for my soul. How is it that this show can last so long? They are all my favorites: SVU, Criminal Intent, Law&Order (Original). I mean, goodness! This show has become my security blanket, my refuge; my Haagen Daz! I know! I know! "Get a life," you say! But how can I when there is a perp in New York City trafficking little kids or when there's a serial killer out there attacking mothers that remind him of when he didn't get breast fed? What kind of citizen would I be if I didn't follow detectives Eames and Goren through that thick fog of insanely tormented souls looking to drag the rest of the world with them through a slippery mental slope? Who would I be if I didn't shout with glee when detectives Benson and Stabler sent some punk flying over a couple a trash cans and a wrought iron fence? Yes! I may need a life, but the city of New York, and the world even, is a much better place with me at home supporting my team!
    I don't put down the Lifetime stations of the world. They serve their purpose. I even turn to it when I'm feeling kind of down or vengeful over the fact that my husband has, once again, not taken out the trash. Mmmm hmmm. Lifetime has a space in my heart but let it be known, that it will be clearly mushroomed by my love for Law & Order if it even ONCE decides to go into some sort of non traditional marathon hiatus. So, I say to you, when you aren't feeling good and need a mental health day, or when your mother-in-law comes to town because she needs to help you with the baby, or when you're stuck on a Sunday with nothing to do and nowhere to go, turn on your t.v. and start surfing. Go ahead. Channel 2. Channel 37. Channel 73. Law & Order is out there. Because in the criminal justice system, there are two kinds of people.....those who commit crimes, and the people who solve them! Dunh! Dunh! Smiley
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Drink Alone!
      So here I am-- home--enjoying my own personal "4 to 7" (or what most people deem as happy hour).  I'm comfortable grabbing a beer form the fridge or  making my own hot toddy. It's  relaxing and I enjoy it. I am not a heavy drinker by any means but I can appreciate a great cocktail or malt. I don't think most people could admit that they'd enjoy a drink after getting home from a long day at work at (least without  hesitation). After all, there's that whole stigma of "DON'T DRINK ALONE" -- the modern day "EAT ME" of America's Wonderland.

    Having a drink with one's self  is a momentary bliss. Somehow you find a spot where you can be alone and uninterrupted. You ease into your own thoughts. You revel in the fact that there truly is such a thing as a moment of silence. Everything around you comes to a complete lull and you can actually hear yourself think. The drink is just an accessory.

   A drink with myself is an infrequent but personal celebration. Sometimes I celebrate the fact that I caught every green light on the way to work or, that I got a free coffee because the cash register was jammed. For me, it's that simple. So,to you I say,  celebrate the small  things and have a drink--alone.

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