Over a year this time!
Short update: I’m still single, still working at the same place, still living at the same place, driving the same car, eating the same toast, etc.
Family life, however, continues to evolve, and not always in a good direction. Christmas 2012 brought tidings of one close relative’s imminent decline, while another part of the family will be expanding in the summer with a new member (a nephew this time!!).
If nothing else, the bad and the good news have brought us all together as a family in a way that just the good news probably wouldn’t have done. That’s me! Always looking for the silver lining.
It’s late and I don’t really have anything planned. I just figured out how to log in here again and thought I’d say something. I’ll come up with something more substantial in the near future. You know, for all those who still have this blog in their feed readers
Holy crap, internet, I turn 40 tomorrow.
I don’t feel 40. By which I mean, I don’t feel old. Not really. I look at other 40 year-olds, and they look their age. I think it’s the weight of responsibility that I’ve managed to avoid thus far. No kids, no house, no real career. I may be carrying a few extra pounds, and have some wrinkles (they’re not *all* laugh lines, alas), but I think I’ve held up pretty well so far. I feel 25, I live like I’m 21, no reason why I shouldn’t look 30, right?
This year is going to be awesome for travel. Austin, surprise destination, San Antonio, Grand Canyon, Ashland, Las Vegas. And those are just the trips that are planned so far! All by October! If I manage my PTO well, there will be more trips. I have the rest of my 40′s to deal with my credit card, right? Right!
In any case, except for the number, the ‘holy shit’ factor, and the need to mark the occasion, 40 isn’t all that different from the last 10 years – I’m still trying to figure out who and what I want to be and do with my life when I grow up. I know I’m awesome and smart and funny and all those neat things, but I don’t feel like I’m doing anything with all that potential. As Sister Mary told my mother in the 8th grade, I am not living up to my potential. It’s a little late for kids and I’m not interested in owning a house, so … what? That’s something else to figure out.
This isn’t a very coherent post, so I’ll just wrap up with, ‘Here’s to the beginning of an unbelievable 4th decade!’
Relationship/health issues persisted in 2011. Gained a niece. Lost a dear friend to cancer. Facing 40 and positive changes in 2012. Can’t wait.
I’m thankful that the end of November is the beginning of the December holiday season, with friend parties and company parties and Christmas cards and great food and pretty dresses and even more time with family. I can’t wait.
I am thankful for chiropractic care (and the means to pay for it at the last minute even though my insurance doesn’t cover it).
I’m thankful for a life and workplace flexible enough that when I feel sufficiently crappy, I can just go home and go to bed at 2 p.m. and sleep for the rest of the day.
I am thankful for quiet days at home when I can (and do!) get all my chores done and can still meet my parents for a lovely dinner in SF.
I am thankful for painkillers of all kinds, but today I am especially thankful for the generic sort that are sold over the counter.
I am thankful that it’s only Friday, and I have two more days of fun.
I am thankful for my family and friends. Everything else is just gravy. Tasty tasty gravy.
So this whole “post something every day” thing hasn’t quite gone as planned, but I have been keeping my blessings in mind the whole time nonetheless. To catch up, and by the way, it was hard to keep it to one thing a day:
11/10: I am thankful for sympathetic, non-judgy listeners.
11/11: I am thankful for finding the most awesome knee-high boots, and having the means to obtain them.
11/12: I am thankful for those days when everything seems to go my way
11/13: I am thankful parties that bring friends who haven’t seen one another in ages together, with a fire pit! (Food note: baked brie and blueberry pie, oh my!)
11/14: I am thankful that there are so many opportunities for people to help others in ways they are best suited for, e.g. knitting for cancer patients, delivering food to homebound folks, volunteering at a food bank, etc.
11/15: I am thankful for being able to enjoy opera and help others enjoy it too.
11/16: I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with Lily.
11/17: I am thankful for cute bartenders who only see me maybe once a month, but remember my order and serve it with a smile.
11/18: I am thankful for the Salvation Army and the work they do (I wish they didn’t need the bells, though)
11/19: I am thankful for last-minute concert buddies
11/20: I am thankful for being able to sleep till noon on occasion. (Food note: chocolate truffle cookies and cambezola cheese, holy cow!)
11/21: I am thankful that I can still do daring things and feel more thrill than fear.
11/22: I am thankful for movie-buddies who will see so-bad-they’re-not-quite-good films and still have a great time.
11/23: I am thankful for short day-before-holiday workdays
Sat Nov 5: I am thankful for friendly and talkative friends who open conversational doors we can all walk through.
Sun Nov 6: I am thankful for public art.
Mon Nov 7: I am thankful for apple farming communities and cowboy boots.
Tues Nov 8: I am thankful for friends who make airport runs for you.
Today: I am thankful for my nieces, whose lives I get to share and enjoy as they grow up and learn about the world.
I am thankful for cold, crisp autumn days that make the warmth of a cup of tea or a soft blanket all the more welcome.
In an effort to get this site going again, I’m going to try posting about something I’m thankful for every day this month. I tried to start this project on the 1st, but, um, I couldn’t figure out how to log in (bad password, weird resetting procedure … all fixed now). I’m going to try not to include food in this list, otherwise I could just list “thankful for oatmeal” every morning. So if food appears here, you know it was something extra awesome.
Nov 1: I am thankful for my bedroom. It has the best afternoon-early evening light, no matter the time of year, the most comfortable bed, and all the good books. It’s the best place to hang out and relax in my whole apartment.
Nov 2: I am thankful to have health care, options for that health care, and health care fairs at work that feature smoothies, free toothbrushes and eyeglass fix-it kits. Oh! And neat keychain doo-dads that have a light *and* a laser pointer!
Which brings us to today:
Nov 3: I am thankful to have trips and time with friends to look forward to. The anticipation is almost as good as the actual experience.
Holy crap, people, I’m finally on WordPress!! Thank you, blogger, for making me move by ceasing to support ftp.
In the last half hour of 2009, I finally got around to composing my entry for the Mayfly Project:
Cut hair; cleaned closets; lost a few friends, made a few more; saw many shows; another futile love; wondering how to make 2010 better.
Stuff I couldn’t fit into 24 words:
I dealt with age (and the signs of it) for the first time.
I tried a lot of new things, many of which didn’t suck.
I was sad a lot.
Reconnected with a lot of high school fellows, which makes me feel like I’m in HS again.
2009 was about maintaining: weight, blood sugar, mood, balance, sleep, relationships. Some I managed better than others.
Someone obviously not familiar with much of the last 10 years of my life asked me recently if I ever googled myself. Of course I do!, I said. However, when I thought about it, I realized that I actually haven’t googled myself in … well, months? a year? I can’t even remember.
I tried it out tonight and I’m stunned – I am still #2 on a search for ‘kristin‘ and the the first 3 results in a search for ‘kristin garrity‘. What have all the other Kristins been doing while I’ve been frittering my time away on facebook and twitter and ignoring my own website?
I can’t seem to leave my computer today*, even though the weather is lovely, and I have two books and a couple of movies to consume while sitting (on my ass) on my couch (instead of this crappy office chair). Also Facebook is denying me access (wtf is “Your account is currently unavailable due to a site issue. We expect this to be resolved shortly. Please try again in a few minutes.” for 4 HOURS!?! I’m not addicted, btw, I can stop any time! Really!)
So, a blog post (vent) about peoples’ reactions to my relationship, or lack thereof, with alcohol.
I stopped drinking alcohol and soda about a year ago when I found out I was diabetic (who needs the extra calories or sugar?). 15 months later, it still takes people by surprise when I tell them I am not drinking beer anymore. Conversations tend to go something like this, with precious few variations:
Do you want a drink/beer/cocktail?
Are you sure?
Yes, thanks. I’m not drinking these days
Wha-? Why not?
I have diabetes, seems best not to
Omg, that’s awful! You really can’t drink because you have diabetes? But I know so-and-so who has diabetes and drinks all the time!!
I used to not drink because I simply didn’t like alcohol and hadn’t yet come to appreciate its relaxing qualities, and the conversations ran much the same, but stopped when I said I just didn’t feel like it and they shot me the standard “I don’t get you and I feel like you’re judging me” look.
Waiters never refilled my water glass, people assumed I was a prude (I was, kind of, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t a fun prude!), and I felt enough peer pressure to imbibe that I often had to take a break from socializing for a bit to remember that it’s ok not to drink all the time.
Then I started to enjoy drinking, but even then didn’t partake all that much. I still didn’t really like alcohol and I didn’t like how crappy I felt days after drinking. If I was drinking, it was to get drunk, and I just didn’t do that all that often. Mostly because I was usually the designated driver. I found, however, that people were ok with me not drinking right then, as long as there would be a time in the near future when I would drink. At least I wasn’t a total freak, and I couldn’t judge them if I was doing the same thing once in a while, right?
So anyway, now I’m back in the Land of No Drinking, and the peer pressure and judgment are ramping up all over again. People can’t BELIEVE that I host a bi-weekly event called Pub Night, but I don’t drink. After all, why would anyone step foot in a bar if they weren’t going to have a beer? Btw, I also don’t like coffee, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find something to drink in a coffeehouse.
I thought by this time, people would be more secure in their pleasures in life and not feel that if someone else didn’t enjoy the same thing, that they were being judged. I find myself continually justifying my decision “I like drinking; I wish I could have a beer once in a while; it’s not for moral reasons; it’s the medication”, yadda yadda yadda.
It’s getting old. Old like me, old like you, old like aren’t we past this yet?
*I left my computer long enough today to take a 3-hour nap and watch that Carey Grant movie. Both were very very good. Yay me!
Where to start? Things have been busy busy busy lately, and look to continue getting busier (read: more driving) next month, but there aren’t any themes to the busyness. This makes for some really boring conversations about what’s going on in my life. “What? Me? Oh, still working. Going out with friends, watching movies, … um, that’s about it.”
Actually, I guess there are a couple of things significant enough (how sad is that?) to talk up:
1) Cheesy Movie Night
After being thwarted by Netflix on the straight-to-video release of Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus with an immediate “very long wait” status, I had to wait another week until it was released to Ballbuster in order to finally have my Cheesy Movie Night. This review says everything we thought of the movie, perfectly summed up with “It’s the dumbest movie you’ll see this year, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.” Right on.
2) Tai Chi
Piedmont Adult School offers some convenient and not-badly-priced evening classes. I took the first of seven tai chi classes last week. I managed to get lost on the way to the first class and showed up late, stressed out, and sweating heavily after walking an extra half mile in an already all-uphill walk, but held it together enough to finally relax and get something out of the class. I’m trying very hard not to get tense and succumb to feelings of inadequacy about not being able to pick it up quickly, as that seems to be counter-productive. I think I’m going to have to rent a video and/or possibly get some literature from the library on this activity, to reinforce the lessons between classes.
So I cleaned up/out my living space earlier this year, I’m sort of on track in the diet department and I have made some progress in the exercise area. Now I’m revisiting volunteering so that my life isn’t all about me (it really is all about me, but I have to pretend otherwise sometimes, just so I don’t seem pretentious and self-centered).
Onebrick.org is my volunteer organization of choice, and they offer quite a few opportunities, varied both by type and times to accommodate most peoples’ schedules. Most recently, I volunteered at MedShare, an amazing organization that takes perfectly good medical supplies that would normally end up in a landfill in our first world country and ships them to care facilities in third world countries that can’t otherwise afford them. I obviously need to strengthen my ‘meeting people’ and ‘being nice/interesting/interested’ muscles, but it’s a start. On Wednesday, I’m signed up to help out at the SF Food Bank.
Jessa and I went to see Spamalot last month. If you’re a fan of Monty Python, get tickets. It’s so much fun! The second act alone is worth the price of admission. And Eric Idle was in the audience and led us in a rousing round of Always Look On The Bright Side of Life. It was a good night.
The end of the 2008/2009 season has arrived with some excellent shows. Teresa went with me to see Tosca a few weeks ago, and I’m heading to La Traviata in a few weeks. The 2009/2010 season starts in September and I bought a full season subscription. It looks like a good one!
6) Knocked over by a dog
My brother’s dog, Yogi is the sweetest, the most well-intentioned, and the clumsiest dog I have ever met. Truth be told, I should know better than to run with dogs, as it never really works out well for me. Anyway, we were running from one house to the other, he was on my right, and he thought we were heading for the lawn on my left. So that’s where he went, crossing in front of me, tripping me into the wood chips under a rose bush. I’m still sporting a bruised knee, sore shoulder and scratches from the rose thorns on my arm and back. Not bad, given how fast I was going and my size, I guess. My other brother tells me guys dig scars as well.
I’m fairly sure it’ll be worth the cost. Come on, you know you want to! Please don’t make me sell this to a stranger on CL.
I finally figured out what my problem has been these last few months while getting out of the shower this morning.
Omg, I’m getting old.
Actually, it’s not the aging that bugs me, it’s that the age is finally showing. I mean, I’ve been aging forEVER! Like, for 37-ish years! But without the burdens of a house, a high-intensity career or kids (you know, the burdens of being a grown-up), it hasn’t really shown much. I mean, a few wrinkles here or there, lots more gray hair, etc, whatever, I still looked young-ish. Or if not young, at least not nearly as old as others my age appear.
With my recent weight loss, I have lost the plumpness that I think is what kept me looking younger than my age – I now see the wrinkles in my neck, of all places! In my forehead. Around my mouth (luckily only when I smile, which everyone knows I don’t do much). It’s those neck wrinkles that are really getting to me.
So anyway … with the life changes last year (diabetes! heartbreak!), and the appearance changes this year (weight loss! hair change!), the image I see in the mirror every day sneakily started affecting how I feel about and see myself, even before I figured out why I was so down. I always thought I’d be one of those women who would age gracefully and be ok with the signs of having lived a full life. I guess I just wonder if I’ve lived a life full enough to warrant all the signs of it
Now I just need a new source of self-esteem, since the mirror ain’t working out for my any more. Hmm …
Hey y’all. I’m in Austin for SXSWi, I’ve picked up a bit of a drawl and I’m having a pretty darn good time! Yay for bbq, southern and tex-mex. I’ve been eating plenty of it, and will need to work hard when I get back to lose the belly I’m developing. Boo for allergies and cough I brought from CA, but at least they have motivated me to stay in and spend time with my gracious hostesses and not do the non-stop partying that has characterized previous trips to Austin. This growing old deal isn’t so bad, you know.
Being here, away from my regular life, away from the stress and depression I’ve been going through the past month or so, nearer some really good friends, friends I don’t get to see but once a year at this conference/festival, others I live fairly close to, but still not close enough to meet up with easily in the normal course of our lives … being here is bringing me out of my isolated, “poor me funk” and renewing my motivation to do more with my life than merely live it.
Some random stuff:
I’m restricting most of the photos in my flickrstream to “friends” and “family“. I apologize to those who choose not to have a flickr account. I totally get that, but I’m starting to think that privacy on the internet is something I should start advocating, at least as it applies to others. It may be a bit late, but I think I can mitigate some of the consequences simply by limiting access to the stuff I post to people I know in real life. *I* don’t mind being out there, using my real name and such, but those who let me take pictures of them will no longer be exposed to the general public through me. Unless they really really want to, of course
I don’t think I made any resolutions this year beyond being healthy and trying to be a nicer person, but I’ve decided to add Learn More About Photography to my List of Things to Do in 2009. I’m tired of taking crappy photos and blaming my lack of experience/knowledge/equipment for the lack of quality. I like doing this and I think I could be really good at it. What is the point of being here if we’re not going to try to explore our potential and be at least a little better than mediocre?
I love spending time with my friend Jennifer here in Austin. I mean, she’s in Austin and I love spending time with her anywhere. She’s just about the most intelligent, nice, caring and compassionate person I know. Through her experiences and our conversations, I get a wider, more diverse point of view on the world and how people act and interact and the impact we have on each others’ lives. People suck. They’re also wonderful and amazing. It’s good to be reminded that no one is only good or only bad (no matter how they may seem even below the surface), everyone has more than one or even two dimensions.
She also has a wicked smart daughter and a super cute puppy. How much more awesome could a person get??
I’ve kind of let myself go, as far as self-care is concerned, this weekend (bbq! cheese! chocolate shake! flossing!). Once I get back to Oakland and work myself back into a routine, I will add Learning More About My Condition to my List of Things to Do in 2009. I tend to start learning about it, get freaked out, stay good for a while … but then, as my fear lessens with time, so does my diligence. Have to figure out a way to let the fear go, but keep the diligence. They say there’s nothing to fear but fear itself, but I think blindness and permanent nerve damage aren’t bad things to fear, if that’s what’s going to keep you in line and “good”.
I think that’s about it. I’ll be Home in a few days. Here’s hoping I can take something good away from this vacation!!
Doncha know it! I have needed this all week.
I don’t usually blog other blogs any more, but I thought this was worth saving:
When faced with a choice between using a perfect word or dumbing it down – use the perfect word. That’s how language stays alive and vibrant. ~ Words are Delicious
There’s a silly meme going about on Facebook in which you write 25 random things about yourself and then tag others to do the same. I had a hard time with it, for some reason. Anyway, why limit this to Facebook? Here is my list of 25 random things about me:
1. I love toast, peanut butter, cheese and chocolate
2. I love my bed
3. I love birthdays, especially my own
4. I love my feet
5. I love daisies, dahlias and daffodils
6. Sometimes I flippantly use the word ‘love’ to describe my feelings for things
7. I never flippantly use the word ‘love’ to describe how I feel about people
8. I always choose family over friends, and friends over anything else
9. I have never broken a bone *knock on wood*
10. I never did like school, but it sure did good things for my social and professional life.
11. I’m what you call a ‘reader’, but almost all of my reading is done while I eat breakfast, in the bathroom and after going to bed but before turning out the light
12. I have an irrational terror of some creepy crawlies – an entire species, actually.
13. I sleep with a teddy bear. That’s not a euphemism. It’s a real teddy bear.
14. I am a dog and a cat and a baby person
15. I don’t have any pets or kids, and don’t have any plans to change that
16. I am both a morning and a night person
17. I don’t dance nearly as much as I’d like to
18. I’m still not sure what I want to do when I grow up
19. Most of my anxieties come from malfunctioning computers, cars and bank accts. Also, see # 12. And sometimes #18.
20. My middle name comes from the Air Force base where my father was stranded the day I was born
21. I do not name inanimate objects.
22. I struggle daily against my packrat tendencies.
23. My first concert was Huey Lewis and the News, in 1986 at the county fair
24. I’ve been to Ireland twice (1988, 1993), Canada (2002) and Mexico (2008). I need to get out of the country more often.
25. At 36, I still take my laundry home to my parents’ when I visit. Hey, free is free.
I think 2009 is going to be all about getting rid of the old, the dragging down, the burnt out and the holding back.
As of Jan 2, I cut off most of that hair I’ve been carrying around for years now:
I’m having a hard time figuring what to do with it now. Putting product in and trying to keep it under some sort of control seem to be key. But I love the lack of weight and the decrease in maintenance time and effort. Most of all, I love that it kind of feels like I cut off the bad parts of 2008 and they can’t weigh me down any more.
As you can see between the two photos, I’ve also lost a bit of weight. Ditto the sentiments above and apply to pounds misplaced and, well, yay for that!
And this week, I started going through my closets (see the walk-in and the bedroom). I have found many things I didn’t know I had, like an apple corer/peeler, Apples to Apples (still in the plastic!) and a couple of purses. I pulled everything out into the living room (photos still on my camera) and am now sorting through everything, being very careful about what gets put back into the closets and what is going away.
My motivation? I can hardly move through my living room right now and I’d like to have a Game Night ™ soon, maybe by the end of the month. So the crap needs to be cleaned up and organized or gone before then, and no stuffing things into the closet at the last minute as guests are arriving. You know, like before the last party.
There’s more to say, but I’m not feeling particularly articulate at the moment. Later alligators!
Traveled (Hawaii! Mexico! Texas!). Fell in love, fell out. Diabetes diagnosed, dealing. Silver linings: Know myself better! Lost weight! Doing fantastic going into 2009!
As I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post, this year wasn’t all that great, when you think about the bad stuff that came my way. However, unlike in years past in which not much happened and I didn’t evolve at all, at least I can confidently say that I am not the same person I was in January. I’ve grown, I’ve learned and I think I’m a better person for it all, the good and the bad.
I just sent out my Christmas list to my siblings, thought I’d share with the internet as well:
Republic of Tea Botswana Blossom (this is my favorite, and I just ran out tonight)
Socks (argyle or stripey, trouser or knee-high)
Dark dark chocolate (minimum 70%, 85% is the best)
Gift card for Gap, AMC, Trader Joe’s
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Things I’m most thankful for this year: my family, my friends, my job, did I mention my family?, toast, Trader Joe’s creamy natural peanut butter, Oakland Public Library, Facebook (yes, embarrassing, I know), Mission Carb Balance tortillas, Amazon, Netflix, and weirdly enough, my diabetes and my broken heart, and not weirdly at all, my family.
Each and every one of these people and/or things helped me through tough times this year or introduced needed change into my life, and I’m a better person for it.
Whether or not you’re a celebrater of Thanksgiving as the United States observes it, I hope you take the time to figure out what you have to be thankful for and hope that someone is thankful for you as well.
So the party went awesome. Somehow everything happened according to schedule, although I admit that my closets are currently inaccessible, since I pretty much stuffed them full of the boxes and stacks ‘o paper that I didn’t have time to deal with at the last moment.
The Christmas lights I hung this morning were a hit, and filled in well for the candles I didn’t light for the first couple of hours because there were babies in the house. Teething babies who like to put everything in their mouths. Every. Thing.
My bedroom, which I did clean after all, and very thoroughly, is still clean and I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time in there in the near future, albeit unconscious. The kitchen didn’t fare so well, but the dishes are done already and I will take care of the floors and the tablecloth tomorrow.
All in all, though, I think this was the most relaxed party I have ever hosted. I’m not sure if it’s because I managed to keep to my schedule so that when people started arriving I wasn’t still rushing around trying to get things ready, or if I have magically passed some threshold of hostessing in which I know that everything I promised the guests is out on the table and if they want more, there’s a supermarket nearby, so why dither and hover and worry about whether everyone has what they need, including a good time. In any case, I think everyone did have a good time, and if they didn’t, well, maybe they can work on fixing that for next time.
But for now, I have 3 bottles of wine and 6 bottles of Fat Tire and a bottle of some juice drink that I can’t drink. Wanna invite me to a party and I’ll bring the liquid entertainment?? Woohoo!