Being the Rose Stem

The thing about getting to know yourself is it takes an entire lifetime, and it takes a while for a sheltered person to finally break free and begin to open up to new experiences and continually fight the other negative voices in your head or the people you can’t necessarily cut from your life who don’t quite get it.

Five years ago, I had my teaching professional semester, and I learned a lot about myself from how much coffee was too much ( about 5 cup pot btw) to how to help kids with needs like I had. I struggled to transition into a larger classroom due to my vision cut (and now known) Asperger’s. I’m much better at being given a task and being left alone to get it done. I remember being devastated watching friends’ classroom set up pictures on Facebook and desperately praying to go back and fix the issues I had and deferring a Call for a year to play housekeeper and nurse after having to switch to educational studies. Some of those memories are still painful, but I still have some fond, and somewhat hilarious memories of those classes.

And I have occasionally used my teacher voice at work when I needed to be heard or asking for a guest’s patience when put on hold. And I still technically teach, but it’s adults about products and how to take care of the skin they’ve been given instead of children.

And never in a million years did I ever think I’d go to the Brewery Festival or that I’d actually like beer. I started the rounds on my own but stuck with my sister and brother-in-law once it got colder. We bumped into my GM, and we had a great time. My suggestions for next year would be more portable heaters versus Palate fires so coats and hats don’t melt, and doing it in a flight instead of 20 5 oz samples. My knee’s still scraped and sore knee to prove that’s definitely not a good idea, although I didn’t complete all 20.

I’ve bent a lot and am working on not breaking. The next step is to find the right job that moves me into an area where I can get around on my own.0EFB6371-8635-44C6-81F9-B1AF95A45DB9

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Ringing in the New Year with the Tanner Clan

Last New Year’s, I thought I’d be out of here. But I’m still in the old basement family room turned play room to bedroom , and when I moved down here about nine years ago, I thought I’d have a Call to somewhere interesting and being the teacher I never had.  Don’t get me wrong, I had some amazing teachers throughout the years that I’m still in contact with, but I wanted to be there for the kid who was going through my same medical issues and lasting effects from others. The room’s still as messy if not worse on purpose to keep it my woman cave. No partying for me tonight or staying up late because I work tomorrow morning.  So I’m just watching Netflix and different DVDs. We technically did a little on Friday when we went over  to my sister’s to look at some crafting stores  and to pick up some more rum.

 

I’ve learned a   lot about myself over the past year; learning some BSing skills are necessary, learning how to somewhat control a few of my sensitivities although not mastered yet, and I’ve branched out from just wine or mead. If someone would have told me that I’d actually be getting along with my sister and brother-in-law and even comparing drinks a few years ago, I would say they’re nuts. I’ve started to assert some independence, but I need to hold my ground a bit better on some issues. And I think the reason I really like watching Full House and Fuller House is because I get it; I haven’t lost a parent or had any kids, but I’m still living in the same house I grew up in, have some women’s health  issues, and I’m working to make my dreams a reality. I guess I’m a mix of all three Tanner sisters. And I’ve definitely found my She-Wolf Pack.

 

The one resolution I’ve actually kept was journaling every night before bed, even if it was “working with this draining person sucked, and my hands hurt” to pages about a direct sales event.

In addition, this year my resolution is to work on myself and finding a job in a more opportune area.  I will keep the promises and complete the goals I set for myself and constantly being fired up but too exhausted or finding some other excuse or allowing certain negative people into my head that leaves me in a funk for days, wanting the prize and more security but failing to put it into action.

Santa Got Knocked Over by a Kitten

Quick Title Explanation: We have this big old wooden Santa that’s at last as old as I am, and he kept falling down, and of course the cats are to blame. And it kind of became aa parody this past Christmas Eve.

As you get older, you want more practical gifts like fleece sheets and replacement measuring devices for your old college ones, and of course  massage after a stressful few months. I just cashed in my massage coupon from the parents  today. I found out my usual massage gal left and started her own place earlier this year, and I love the new space and working with her again.  She said she felt honored that I would follow her, and she said any company would be lucky to have me as an employee. Consultant or any therapist ( physical, emotional or massage) loyalty is important, and we girl bosses have to support each other.

Christmas Eve was church in the morning then watching Christmas movies for the rest of the day and listening to Mom read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. And we analyzed some of our favorites as well. We had the usual Christmas dinner a day early for schedule reasons, and Dad agreed Mom was sort of paying us back by creating more dishes since we went out to eat the night before.

Christmas Morning was the usual. Somehow  I got up first and started reading the Life and Adventures of Santa Claus from the link my sister texted me the day before. The Stollen was great, and we watched the new Call the Midwife Christmas Special.

What was your Christmas like?

 

 

Forging On

It’s been a while, but things have been pretty crazy. I’m still working to find my voice on here, so I apologize if it’s sounded a little whiney with explaining how things went. I completely lost it the first week of December due to being unable to attend the weekly women’s business meeting and sensory overload from the event I was forced into instead.  And I was a little out of sorts because I switched location for two days of work that week. I mentioned I’d rather be at that location than with a draining co-worker or manager I would have been on with, and they didn’t blame me for it.

The next Sunday we did the traditional cookie and candy making with my sister. That was an adventure resulting in a new oven, but not going to go into that. I did inherit her taller tree that’s been dubbed, “tree of first apartment” although it should be “new beginnings.” This one I was actually able to take the pinecones off but got a sliver in the process. My tree topper was way too tall for the space between the top of the tree and my current ceiling, but the small plastic canvass angel my great-grandma made works for now, and I’m in love with the Hearth and Hand red and green ornaments from Target. I love the farmhouse feel without living in the country like I have for most of my life. Our house is actually on an old farm that was broken up a long time ago.

One thing that has helped over the past week was the workshop and guest event I attended last Monday. The speaker talked about emotional intelligence and ways to work on your mind and confirmed I should continue some of my coping mechanisms. It was much needed time with the same women that I needed the Monday before. And I got some more time with my sales director, and I got to see my adopted ones too.  I am so blessed both of our National Areas are so close, and we’re still one big extended family almost four years after they became my area’s first offspring area. They always mention my National born, theirs strong; for those of us who are in the original area and are adopted by directors in the other, I always mention getting to live with the cousins. And sometimes they forget I’m not technically in their area. Even when I do find a different job that gets me into a city  with better public transportation, I will still stay connected with them. They are still my family, and it helps that one of them was an adoptee for a lot of her consultant years. And we have very similar personalities.

 

As for the job hunt; it’s still a long ongoing process. I’m looking for something that’s behind the scenes in an office where I can be left alone with a task with minimal interruptions. I know that’s my strength.  My high school had a few things open, but if I couldn’t manage a classroom full of 9-10 year olds, how can I keep high schoolers in line during study hall? And my  InDesign skills haven’t been practiced since I was a student there.  I need a clean break from being driven around by the parents but still be in an area where I could possibly get a ride from a friend when there’s no other alternative. And I do have friends with similar medical issues who can help me navigate the disability bus pass issue I know I will need when I do. Two more days of work this week then a much needed break until after Christmas. All I can say is forge on!

Revenge is……. a Broken Christmas Tree?

The thing you’ve got to realize when you’re living with an Aspie is how to help them overcome and cope with trigger situations and fixations, and it can lead to some hilarious situations when they don’t. It’s kinda like the story we always tell where I was baking with Grandma Ratchman, and she read “two cups of REAL MILK” instead of “two cups of real milk chocolate chips.” To this day whenever we see  or mention milk chocolate we have to laugh. We will always remember Christmas 2017.  So, the parents were looking to get a different fake Christmas tree, and if it’s one thing I hate, it’s gaudy things that stick out: mainly fake pine cones. And even though I kept pointing it out, they still got that one anyways. We removed a few earlier in the day, and all I could see was this one sticking out in the front toward the bottom. Fortunately I was able to get it off; unfortunately half the Christmas lights went out with it. And Dad knew how to fix it. He was a little less concerned than Mom, who kept saying I could have electrocuted myself, but the response in my head was, “hey, if it gets me out of here for good, that’s not a bad thing. And it’s your fault for getting the tree with pine cones on it. This is also what you get for not allowing me to have my one piece of sanity because you answered for the both of us about something that will set me off tomorrow.”  Seriously, they look like they belong in a litter box or the crap on a bike trail from someone walking their dog or riding a horse and not cleaning up after it.  So right before I went down for the final time tonight, Dad pulled me aside, and said we’d never forget this Christmas since I broke the tree, and he fixed it.

On a positive note, we were able to use our old wooden beads from a long time ago on the tree for the first time in over a decade, and we watched White Christmas together since someone was gone working on the project this afternoon. Plus the hymns today had great alto lines that I actually knew.

Yesterday, they let me decorate while they were both gone, so the wise men from the ceramic nativity set are by Rudolph, and Yukon Cornelius is by them because he had to learn about silver and gold from somewhere, and they were at the house, not the stable. Plus there was no room for Yukon on the top shelf by the other characters. Thankfully my Willow Angel set had the option to not have them in the main scene. And I’m not sure if any friends caught the foreshadowing and symbolism when I posted a picture of what I did with the nativity set, but the sheep, mostly the lambs,  are by the manger. An interesting weekend for sure.

PSA’s from an ASPIE

I’m just going to put this out there, and it’s somewhat of a relief that I actually feel comfortable writing this. I am an Aspy. Famous Lutheran question: what does this mean?  We should fear and love God that…. Nope.  Not that kind of explanation. It varies from person to person on the spectrum, but I have Aspberger’s.  Back when I was growing up, the experts believed it only occurred in males. Man, were they wrong. And yes, pun totally intended.

For me, my senses are heightened like being oversensitive to noise, light and movement. I was unaware of the situation four years ago, and that’s probably one of the reasons, well, probably the main reason I epically failed student teaching. Routine and fairness are also very integral as well as everything having its rightful place, and the fact my brain was messed with two decades ago doesn’t help the situation either. They are typically introverts, but I’ve actually become an ambivert  over the past few years. My room is messy, which I am told is very typical; because I want to keep it private since it’s the only place I can currently call my own. And some don’t completely understand why certain things set me off, like the someone at church giving out my phone number to someone trying to get a hold of Mom instead when the pastor and everyone else has the right number, and someone ( probably the same person) e-mailing me to tell my parents something when their e-mail address is on file WITH THE CORRECT PHONE NUMBERS!

There are only a few times or ways you can politely say “I am not my mother” , or, “I am not a social secretary” before you lose it. The same goes for how you respond to the person picking it up. Don’t turn the person’s name into a question or assume it’s them.  Instead, say “This is _______, is so and so there?” NOT “So in So?” Adult children trying to have a life of their own aren’t social secretaries, and they are not their parents. Landlines are a different ball game for talking messages, but try to explain that to your parents who despite you, your sister and your brother-in-law explaining data still don’t quite get how data works.

I am working on coping strategies, but yesterday I could barely make it through work.  Basically I had to get dropped off early to work all week because my parents are involved with a building project at church that should have been done months ago. I’m grateful we won’t be overcrowded and sardines during Christmas and Easter and we have more room to evangelize, but honestly, all I see is the countless hours of being dropped off early or not being able to go to a meeting where I’m surrounded with positive women and is my only source of secular sanity, although the company is faith focused,  because finding a ride from it to church wasn’t always available. And the parents’ voices raised to my ears bleeding over things that weren’t done or the building committee not wanting done yet for certain reasons either in the living room or on my ceiling ( living room floor is part of my ceiling. (  Overtired, blacking out,  pretty much pulled my entire left leg wandering around a small strip of town before and after work because you feel trapped, and having to deal with “real winners.”  Everyone should work food service or retail some time in their life to learn how to treat other people. People should also understand what they are getting before they walk in or go through a drive through, and how the place’s system works: portion sizes, flavors of bread, how the coupons and loyalty programs ACTUALLY work.  I had to deal with those winners yesterday, and I couldn’t really relax until late that night due to something else I was kinda forced into doing without a say next week Monday, and that event is a nightmare for an Aspy, but then again, try to explain that to the same people who don’t get why noise and light set you off.  I basically staved off a panic attack all day and actually broke down about half way through my shift .  I would much rather stick to the routine and be around positive, uplifting women instead. Thankfully I’ll be in their sphere of influence the entire next Monday.

PSA: You don’t always know what your cashier, church member or adoptive niece are going through. Be polite; learn the way things work, including proper phone and restaurant procedures and policies, and always triple check you are giving out the right number and contacting the person the message is for instead of turning someone into a social secretary. And don’t ever drop your kids off very early to work three days in a row when they can’t drive, and your family’s fulfilled its duty to the project multiple times over.  And if someone likens the experience of a joint activity to the former Pioneers at your old mutual church, which was not the best supervised, have the backbone to say no to playing for a Christmas gathering because there is a huge difference between getting someone out of their comfort zone and making it impossible for them to function.

 

Life Lessons over this past week

One major thing I learned this week was to double check your phone settings after an update. We have three phones on one plan, and mine ate a lot of data because the things I thought I had turned off were back on. Also good incentive NOT to watch Netflix right before bed on my phone in case the wifi goes out. Hello, Toshiba, my old friend.

Just because your parents moved into the same basement 30ish years ago when your grandpa had a stroke doesn’t mean they remember the noise or brightness level.  Then gain, what is your room was their living room at the time, but the bedroom now teaching/seasonal storage room doesn’t have the thickest ceiling either. I need to learn how to darken my very old door’s paneling to prevent the light from overwhelming me when the basement gets turned on by the parents since I can’t really take the light bulb out. (Picture included for visual aid.) The same goes for figuring out a way to soundproof said ceiling so every scrape of a chair or walk through the kitchen doesn’t make my ears bleed. Note to self: definitely find an upstairs apartment and learn an inexpensive safe way to sound proof walls and floor.

Doing Thanksgiving on a different day than the actual Thursday is way less stressful, especially if you work the day before and on Black Friday. We did a bigger meal (non turkey) on Thanksgiving and just relaxed. (No dishes for me, yay!) I mostly watched a  Once Upon a Time marathon and one Hallmark Christmas movie on Netflix, and decompressed by getting my AG girls ready for a Buy Sell, Trade photo challenge that started yesterday.  I’ve actually been able to sell a few things and am still working to give one my dolls a new home since I haven’t bonded with her in a while.  (BTW, if anyone’s interested in MAG #13, let me know. She’s still in very good used condition with one leg being retightened once. Her skin may be a bit shiny and possible scratch marks that are insignificant.)  Work was kinda slow for a Friday, especially being Thanksgiving weekend. I ended up starting White Christmas. We went over to my sister and brother-in-law’s today, and definitely thankful it was just the five of us instead of the intended eight due to space and noise.  I tried a Blue Moon Pacific Apricot Wheat beer. If you’ve known me for a while, up until this last year, if someone told me I’d actually like beer, I wouldn’t believe it. Then again, only being introduced to a gasoline scent for cooking brats was a major factor in that. I’m not generally a poultry person unless it’s grilled deli chicken with cheese and bacon, but it was amazing. And I got to bring the real cranberries because the other guests couldn’t make it. So it actually felt like Thanksgiving. Her cats seemed to be a bit more friendly than the other times and actually let us pet them. Also, if you make vanilla in an empty whisky bottle that hasn’t been washed, it tastes amazing. Used that in the real whipped cream ( family tradition).

What traditions do you have around this time of year?