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