Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Visiting Another Country

It's nice when we allow ourselves to operate a little out of our comfort zone. When we travel it is sometimes necessary to be flexible when we encounter challenges to the way we are used to thinking and behaving. Being a good observer helps too, especially reading other people's body language and inflection in their voices. It is hard sometimes to not feel a tiny bit vulnerable.I have discovered humor can often diffuse an uncomfortable situation or unfamiliarity with local customs.

We are forced to be outgoing in order to communicate and negotiate what it is we need. This is hard for me because I tend to be quiet and reserved so my husband is often the spokesperson while my Spanish is somewhat better. I will feed him certain phrases if we are in a certain situation. My vocabulary is survival Spanish; "Donde esta el bano?" I definitely have to work on the verbs and grammar. Anyway he will just forge ahead with gestures until some of it might be understood. This is when humor comes in very handy. You can't start to worry too much about whether they like Americans, just be polite and hope for the best. You do however need to have a certain level of awareness so you do not intentionally offend someone or their customs.

So here I am sitting in this nice little internet "office" which fortunately, is airconditioned. Am I that addicted to blogging that I have to find a place to post something? I do not take myself too seriously,but being too far out of touch is a bit out of my comfort zone. I think it is time to head out to the beach, slather on the sun tan lotion,read my book, and not do too much of anything else.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My List of Lists

I believe making lists are a way to stay organized and a reminder of things not to forget. Who ever invented the sticky post it notes has my vote as saving us from ourselves. Technology has given us the Blackberry and Palm Pilot but there is nothing as simple or easy as the the post it. You can have them all over the place: at home, the office, appointments and calenders, the list is endless. Why would someone wax poetic on something so plebeian? I don't really know, I do know that I can't seem to function without my lists. You have to be careful though because if you spend all your time making lists then nothing will get done! It is a very good idea to have a short list of goals of things you want to accomplish each day.It may not be necessary to write this down. Keeping it to two or three items helps us to feel less overwhelmed and more likely to actually do the things on the list.

"Procrastination is the thief of time." I'll do it tomorrow, admittedly we all have done this to some degree. There is an old saying that if you ask a busy person to do something it is likely to get done. Maybe it's because they possess momentum and energy besides the concept of timeliness, and organizational ability.

When does being organized shift over to being an obsessive tendency? I'm not sure but I'd guess that if it becomes an obstacle to being able to "function" then that might be a problem. Is it really necessary to have all the soup cans in the cupboard with the labels facing out or to have the clothes in your closet grouped by color and having the hangers match in color. Don't laugh, there are people who might not admit it but they have to line up their shoes a certain way and everything has to be in it's place, but I digress.

When we make plans to travel I start making lists of things to pack. If we are just going away for the day it's not necessary. I like to have a grocery list when I go to the store, not that I follow it. At work I keep a list of people whom I need to return phone calls to and a list of projects I am trying to multitask. It's a great feeling to check something off that has been completed.

I have to confess that I keep a little notebook in my pocketbook and when I have a spontaneous creative thought of something I might like to blog about I write it down. How do you think I came up with this idea to write a post about lists?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

spontaneous Wine buzz

It's Friday night, time to unwind. A few glasses of wine and lowered inhibitions. Do you say things that ordinarily you might be protective about....? Too bad you can't say or think those things while not under the influence of the wine buzz. Why is it necessary to get a buzz going and why not be real all the time? Maybe you think you are more amusing or funny after having a few. Why can't you just be real or spontaneous without the effects of alcohol? Sometimes it serves as a social lubricant for people to be less inhibited. The danger in that is you may sometimes make choices or decisions that you might not otherwise make. Hopefully, it isn't something major. Why do we need this in order to feel less inhibited, maybe more outgoing or less self conscious in social situations.Unfortunate as it is, it applies to alot of people of all ages and economic backgrounds. I myself have no problem with that. I think I'm much more amusing and jocular after a few glasses of whatever. It shouldn't be used as a crutch though , but unfortunately it often may be so.Maybe it is more about people being less unguarded and more real but alcohol doesn't necessarily make anything real. What's wrong with having a a bit of fun, but why do we need alcohol to feel that? Why can't we be less guarded and real with out the effects of alcohol?
My family has a few embarrassing stories they like to tease me about because I am a lightweight when it comes to the consumption of alcohol. Not like the old days at all. With age, we hopefully learn moderation, however for addictive personalities that is likely somewhat different. Not everyone who imbibes too much has an alcohol problem. I won't even get into those who have a few tokes of the weed.You really can't do that because the illegality and consequences are too high risk in today's society besides not wanting to be a space cadet anymore and seeking legitimacy.I guess the whole point is to try and be in control even though you might not be but don't know that. There is nothing worse than being around an obnoxious drunk who has had too much to drink. I have seen people whom I love and respect make utter assholes of themselves but hey, who am I to judge. All is forgotten the next day unless you do something really bad. UNwittingly you can develop a bad reputation and may not even know it, things you may have done in your younger days may come back to haunt you, embarrassingly so. When I was in my twenties I went to an outrageous Halloween party that got way out of hand and the last thing I remember was puking my guts out in someone's bushes. So much for being the future mother of two children.Please forgive my youthful indiscretion. Thank god I don't do those things any more. My adult children unfortunately saw the old side of me when I had a few too many, not by much, but enough for me to act somewhat foolish. Apparently, while trying to put a parka on over my head, I put it on backwards, they still laugh about it but I wonder if somehow I became diminished in their eyes , or perhaps they just thought it was hilarious to see their mother having a few. I'm not really sure, but I have also seen them have a few too many and prefer not to judge, so maybe they won't judge me. Maybe we just shouldn't judge each other too harshly since we really don't know what is going on in other people's minds. I don't really care what other people think of me. I'm rather fearless when it comes to that. I do deeply care what my husband thinks of me, and he thinks I'm okay. I don't necessarily need his validation but if he disapproved of something I would definitely take that into consideration, unless he also was under the influence and then who knows really. Alas, confessions of a hope fiend, an unguarded moment.