Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Friday, April 07, 2006

Meet Elizabeth

Q: How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One, but the light bulb has to want to change.

I read in some magazine somewhere that people who often seek out therapists are not in a position to get better in any substantial way because they have no commitment to making any real changes in their life. I completely disagree. Although seeking out professional help made me extremely uncomfortable in the beginning, I knew I needed help. In the beginning though, it felt as if I was admitting failure, or much worse, I was seeking out to subject another human being about my mayhem. I thought I could get by with Mike's insights and using blogging as my own therapy. Although nowadays, having a therapist has probably become a modern accessory.. right next to cell phones and a frequent visitor card from Starbucks. Anyway, at the time I made my fateful decision, I was getting by OK. There were days when I was happy beyond words, some were miserable, and in general, life was just manageable. But in no means did I want to keeping living by those standards... so I met with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth's my new therapist. I ought not to say the word new, it's probably misleading... since I never had one before. I don't know how to describe it, but she makes me at ease like one of those Grandmothers you go to to make you feel better with her chicken soup when the rest of the world falls apart behind you. Like Mrs Doubtfire. She seems like a pretty enlightened woman, with years and years of advice from experience (which I honestly think is far more valuable than just learning theories in college).

I found her through a program in the Army where they provide you with six free sessions with a local therapist.. and I anxiously wondered if I could be "fixed" in 6 sessions. But it was as if Elizabeth knew how to read minds too. She gave me a list of symptoms of somebody who was depressed, and she assured me that she would keep seeing me until all the items were crossed off. I felt a little discouraged. It was a ratherlong list. That's a lot of head-shrinking is all I'm saying.

I should mention, pessimism was part of the list.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Few Good Things

I've realized that lately, I've been doing a lot of complaining and whining, which (undoubtedly) can make me look like a very unhappy person. And although I have several of those moments, I must contend that I'm not completely miserable. The BIG idea is.. I firmly believe in the philosophy of duality. Basically, it's happiness and unhappiness, tension and relaxation, pleasure and pain. We are unable to appreciate any pleasure unless it's accompanied by a corresponding pain. The problem with me is, I focus too much on the pain and not enough on the pleasure. So in essence of my proposed self-therapy (don't worry, I've got an appointment with a professional tomorrow night), I thought I'd share the things that make me enthusiastic. Obviously, Mike and Ethan make me happy. I could write for days and months and years about how happy they make me.. but I thought I'd share some of the random things that tickle my fancy.

I love life (as ironic as that sounds), and I love to photograph life. Life comes at us so fast... we now live in the generation of text messages, frapuccinos-to-go, and Tivo, that we almost feel guilty about slowing down to enjoy those moments that really count... we merely know them as the "kodak moments". That day you play "hookie" to escape to Mexico after getting engaged. That first dance as husband and wife. That gumfull of smiles in the nursery. One minute it's there, the next minute it's gone. That's just it. Photos are forever. Now, I've always had the passion for photography, and I take much pleasure in being that "crazy camera lady" who has a camera almost permanently attached to her hand during her life travels. But it's only recently that I've started to ruminate on the value of a tripod and critically consider lighting techniques. I hope to someday be able to make the transition from hobby to an esteemed career (or if I could really get my way, a pleasant balance of both).

Double Stuff Oreos
This is a fairly recent craze, I must say. When I got home from the hospital, I was welcomed by a bag of Double Stuff Oreos sitting on the kitchen counter, and our kitchen has never gone a day without one since then. Forget about all other kinds of cookies, I HAVE to HAVE Oreos... and not just the original kind.. it has to be the Double Stuff kind. Dunk. Lick. Yum.

SUPER Walmart
I might be running the risk of being called a hillbilly, but I do love love love Super Walmart. Going to Walmart has become more than just a chore... it's become another way for Mike and I to spend time together (cheesy but true). We often go to buy a few essentials, and end up just wandering aimlessly through the store, stopping periodically to hold each other, while putting semi-random things in the cart on the way to the baby section. I mean, I'm sentimental to the fact that a business this big would easily drive a mom & pop business off with their comparative pricing, but I'm all for saving $$ and the convenience it offers. Where else could you do your regular grocery shopping, price match for a new set of tires for the car, buy baby essentials, and shop for furniture all under the same roof? And who could compete with Walmart's generous return policy anyway? You don't even have to have your receipt, and they will take the item back no questions asked and even give you cash if the amount isn't to hefty. Hell, you could probably buy almost anything there, use it for a couple of weeks, put it back in the original box and return it for a full refund or store credit!!! (Not that we've done that or anything).... And the best part of it all? It's OPEN 24 hours a day.

Okay, so I'm a hillbilly and a geek. But it's become more than just a cultural phenomenon.. it's a lifestyle. Everyday, before I go to sleep, I log in and take pleasure in seeing that I've got New Messages and New Comments and New Friend Requests. Nevermind the increasingly annoying advertisements, I'm not surprised that advertisers are taking note. One powerful draw is that MySpace is chock full of 16- to 34-year-old consumers, one of the most sought-after and elusive demographic segments... in which of course, I fall right inbetween. What I love about it is the flexibility of customizing my page however I want, without the hassle of actually having to pay to maintain my own .com (although I have that too). Not to mention, my ever growing friends list consisting of people whom I've met in almost all phases of my life: distant high school friends, old church choir pals, buddies I've accumulated during my years in the Army... would I have kept in touch with 90% of these people if it weren't for MySpace? Probably not.

Well, that's about all the rejoicing I could do for one day. Must go back to work.


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