Thursday, September 12, 2013

How Many Times....?

When you were a kid, did your mom or dad ever start a conversation (aka: lecture) with "How many times have I told you...." It's one of those things you SWEAR you will never say to your kids, but then, well...
I was thinking about that today, but in a different way. I was thinking about it because I realized "how many times" I've promised that I would write on a regular basis. That "this time" I was sure that I was on a roll. Clearly, I lied. Okay, that's harsh. Let's just say you all were me. See, the problem is that Life gets in the way. Try as I may to make time to write every day, the truth is, I have other things that take priority sometimes. Little things like "kids" and a husband, and bills I have to pay, my job (as an elf), and making sure we have food in the house. You know, those little pesky every day details we just can't ignore. This is not to say that my brain and my imagination are stagnant. I have plenty to write about. It's just that sitting down at the computer and taking the time to post tends to mess up my groove, so to speak. Now this is where I usually say "..but this time I mean it! I'm really going to write all the time now!!" You'd all be thinking to yourselves "we've heard that one before." I'm not going to say that this time. I will say this. When I'm not otherwise living my life, working (which of course involves writing anyway) taking care of my family, taking care of myself (i.e.: swimming) spending time with people I love, taking care of my little dog or my two turtles, or coping with my general insanity, I will write something here...and hopefully you won't have all tired of waiting for me, and will read it. :)

Caren E. Salas

No Happy Medium

I can't sleep. my husband and I decided to spend Labor Day weekend in Palm Springs, and we do love it here. but dang. It's HOT. Even at nine, ten o'clock at night it's about a hundred degrees! Then, the room is air conditioned to below freezing...okay, not really, but it's cold! So here I am at 5:35 a.m. because I can't sleep. I tossed and turned for hours feeling the blast of cold air on one side of my body or another; I tried to turn down the AC; I even wrapped the decorative throw blanket they put on the edge of the bed for color over me, but I can't sleep!  Added to that, the AC hitting me gave me a stiff neck, or maybe it was the tossing and turning, so I took some Ibuprofen and now my stomach hurts. Of course.
On the upside, in about an hour, the pool will be open, and being that yes, at 7 a.m. it will be hot enough to melt glass, I may just go down and swim a few laps. I will have to adjust my workout however in light of the pool only being about 15 feet across. Three strokes and I'm on the other side. I may have to resort to...I can't believe I'm saying this...water aerobics,. (shudder)

Friday, August 16, 2013

One Lap Forward...

This week started off really well.  On Monday I went to the gym, determined that this would be the week I went EVERY day. As usual, my week never seems to go as planned. Especially during the summer. I have learned, as the years have gone by, that I am a schedule person. I deal with life so much better if I am (basically) forced to get up and get out of the house at a certain time. During the school year. I get up at about the same time every morning, get dressed and take my kids to school. Since I'm getting dressed anyway, it's easy to put my bathing suit and sweats on instead of jeans and a t-shirt, and then, since I'm already out and about, go to the gym. With no place that I have to go first thing in the morning, it's much easier to get distracted with other things. There's always laundry to be done, dishes to be washed, items to be checked on ebay: selling, not buying, believe it or not.
But I digress. Wow. If I had a dollar for every time I was distrac- hey, is it okay to have pizza for breakfast?

So this year, unlike my kids, I'm actually looking forward to them having to go back to school. Meanwhile I try and push myself to go swim as often as I can. especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when I don't have such a small window of time. You see, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays there is a water aerobics class at 10:30 and people start piling in around 9:00-9:30 so they can stake out their spot. And don't tell me I should take that class.  I don't, for three reasons: a.) I get claustrophobic with 80 other people in the same pool, especially since if I get pushed to the deep end, I can't touch the bottom. b.) It's not my thing. I just want to swim, back and forth, at my own pace. And c.) The idea of some little perky 20-something girl shouting out "encouragements" makes me want to vomit. Sorry, it's probably wrong. I can't help it. I've never been one for that whole "no pain! no gain!" and "push yourself! you can do it!" cheerleading tactic. I'm an adult. Please don't tell me what I am capable of doing. In all likeliness you have NO idea what I've gone through to get this far. I'm fully aware of what I need to do, to get to where I want to be. Give me a little credit. I understand, some people need that, and work better because of it, and hey, more power to them. Everyone is different. If my friends tell me "hey, go for it, that's awesome" that's really enough for me. If my kids ask me if I'm going swimming and say "cool," when I say that I am, that's good too.  For me, it all comes down to the fact that we all have to find what works. Some people respond well to having that voice over their shoulder saying "yeah! keep going!" Some people encourage themselves and fight their inner wimp one day at a time. That's what I do. Honestly, I don't always come out on top...but I refuse to ever admit defeat. I just gather what strength I have, go back to the pool, take a deep breath, and dive back in.

I'm going to try to go a little later on today, wish me luck.

Caren E. Salas

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Anger Management

The other night I was trying to figure out how to connect my wireless printer to our network and after trying various "trouble-shooting" tactics, I contacted the company who made the printer thinking, this can't be too big of a deal. When we first got the printer I think my son and I installed in with no real problems. Unfortunately we recently had to replace our modem/router and that caused some problems.  So I go online to the "live chat" and the person "helping" me, after close to three hours not only did NOT solve the problem, but managed to completely mess up my wireless network. She tried to tell me that she was only working on the things that affected the printer. Hmmm. I think not. I don't know a lot about computers, but I thought it was an amazing coincidence that before she started doing things everything (except the printer) was working fine. Afterwards nothing worked except the PC I was actually working on. None of the kids devices or laptops could connect and even my ROKU was shut down. Someone was supposed to call me within 24 to 48 hours....a week ago. Needless to say, I will not be purchasing anything from that company again if I can help it, and they WILL be hearing from me. (It won't be pretty, but at least it will be somewhat more reserved compared to what it would have been a week ago.)

Anyway, to make a long story short (I know, too late), At about midnight when I finished chatting with this substandard computer technician, I was fuming. Knowing that sleep was not going to happen anytime soon, and feeling like I might possibly commit a felony, I decided to work off some pent up energy by swimming. Luckily, my gym is 24 Fitness. I got dressed and zipped over, thinking a half mile ought to do it. After a half mile I realized I was still angry, so I went on for a few more laps. When I got out, I was thinking, Wow, I should do a mad swim at least once a week!  I'm kidding of course, but I did get a really good workout, and I was able to go to sleep when I got home. It was much more productive than breaking or throwing things (like the printer).  The next morning I called AT&T and in under an hour our wireless was up and running and so was our printer. Shocker.

Usually I get my frustrations out with writing, but sometimes, there is not enough paper, writing instruments, or even internet space to get the monster out of me. More dramatic strategies are needed. I know not everyone can swim, but most of us can at least get out and walk or run or do something physical. In the long run, at least for me, not only do I feel better emotionally, but I can smile knowing that I am a little bit healthier as a result. 

We all do what we have to, to stay sane in this crazy life. I write. I swim. I hug my family. Whatever works.

Caren E, Salas

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

For the Safety of Those Around Me

I have found that swimming for me is a necessity. Not merely for my health, but for the health (and safety) of those who deal with me on a regular basis. Seriously, I feel so much better when I swim on a regular basis, physically, mentally and emotionally. It has a way of calming me, taking the stress of the day away, and adds a little patience to my personality. For about 45 minutes I really don't/can't think of anything else. Well, I could, technically, but I tend to forget to breathe. Hmmm. It's funny when I think of it, because when I don't swim, sometimes it feels like I'm forgetting to breathe then, too. I mean, really breathe. Breathe in. Breathe out. Don't freak out. Don't sweat the small stuff...which I do. The moral of this story? I've got to keep swimming. It will keep me in shape, keep me calm, keep me happy and hopefully keep me out of jail (haha).  It's been a rough week. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better. Until then...I'll just keep breathing.

Caren E. Salas

Now this is serenity: a pool with a view.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Can it Be??

Wow! Twice in one week! I think I'm on a roll here. I didn't quite make my goal of swimming every day. Wednesday and Thursday proved to not only be busier than usual for me, but for some reason I was unusually fatigued. However, I did go three times, and and technically the week is not over yet. If I can get to four by, well...tomorrow, I'll have gone at least one more time than I did last week. Baby steps.
Now if I can just figure out a way to push myself to write more, that would be great.  One good thing: we finally fixed our internet issues...I think anyway. So far so good. That makes it at least easier to write.

You know I was just looking over my posts and realized I had 3 unpublished drafts. The sad thing is that when I looked at them, none of them had gotten past the title. I had started a post, had an idea for it but let it fizzle. Three times! Sad sad sad.  Time to be inspired!!

But before I bore you all to tears, I'm going to say good-bye for now. Hopefully I'll have something more interesting, inspired, or at least a little inspirational to write about tomorrow. Until then...

Caren E. Salas

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Between Signs

 I started off the week thinking: I'm going to go swimming every day this week! Yesterday, however, it didn't happen. First thing in the morning I had to go to the DMV to get a permit to move our little VW Bug we're trying to fix up. One and a half hours later, permit in hand, I went to pick the car up from the shop and take it to get SMOG tested. The day went on like that, just one thing after another. By 3:00 in the afternoon I was so exhausted I wanted to collapse on my bed and take a nap.
My writing has had the same sort of slow death. Every day I think: I really need to be writing more often. The days go by and I can't seem to get motivated. On top of that, my internet has been having issues. Not being electronically or computer savvy myself (at ALL) this is a frustrating situation for me. I don't have the time to "learn" everything I need to know to take care of it.
So life goes on, flying by like a rocket ship on its way to outer space (apparently to meet my brain which is already there). Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting for the time to do the things I feel passionately about and that time will never come. Between housework and errands and Life's unexpected events, I'm not sure if I'm floating above the water or about to drown. "The Circle of Life is circling me!"* and it's got shark fins.  Apparently, I'm gonna' need a bigger boat.
I saw this sign that says "BETWEEN SIGNS  -> ", which I thought was humorous since there was no other sign on the other side. One can't be "between" just one thing. Yet, these days I feel like I'm "between" one thing and...I'm not really sure.
Well, one goal is achieved: I wrote this. If I can get to the gym later to swim, that will be two things. Tomorrow, who knows? Maybe I'll figure out where the other side of the sign might be.

Caren E. Salas