Broken Zen

Lake View

The lake is a place I walk around to think and calm the thoughts running through my head.  I work a lot issues I have out this way, and get some good exercise at the same time.  I wish I could say my morning walk today gave me the clarity I needed, but I found myself getting home feeling more frustrated and irritated than when I walked out the door.  It wasn’t because I couldn’t work through my issues.  I couldn’t even concentrate on my inner monologue long enough to come up with any rational ideas.

I think there were a lot of people that woke up this morning saying to themselves, “Hey, let’s all go to the lake, and get in AllBrokenUp’s way!!!”  And that is just what they did.  Most people have very good walking path etiquette.  I say most, but that still leaves a lot of people who just do not care, and do not care to correct their children either.  So I would like to take this time to thank these specific people:

  • To the lady walking her dog on the retractable leash let all the way out.  Without your thoughtlessness I might not have had the chance to trip over your dog’s leash line when you let him walk across the entire path at the last second before we crossed paths.
  • To the little kids taking up the entire path on your bicycles with your parents right behind you.  I thank you for making those of us walking in the on-coming direction walk in the muck because you are obviously much more superior to everyone else.  We bow in your wake and feel very humbled to do so.
  • To the jogging stroller Moms who feel they must walk side by side to secretly talk (even though WE CAN ALL HEAR YOU) taking up more than 3/4 of the path width.  Yes, I surely can walk on the absolute very edge of the paved path.  Don’t you worry about me almost twisting my ankle in an attempt to stay on and not fall into the rocky stream not even a foot from said edge.  I don’t know why I would think my safety is much more important than your conversation about your husband leaving you alone for the weekend with your 2 kids to go play golf in Vegas with his buddies.  Shame on me for having such selfish thoughts.

I will put this other thing that happened to me separately though because it turned out to be a good solidarity type talk.  A lady who I have seen several times before on my walks stopped me as we crossed paths to ask if I heard about Johnny Depp’s wife filing for divorce.  I’m thinking to myself, “Um, why would you stop me to ask me this odd question?” but I just say that I had not heard this yet.  She goes on to say his wife filed for divorce because he was abusing her and makes reference to my t-shirt so it all clicks.  I just so happened to be wearing my Verizon Stop Domestic Violence t-shirt from a walk we did a few years ago.  I tell her thank you for letting me know, and I would look it up when I got back home.  We smiled and went on our merry opposite ways.

So I’ve decided I’m staying home the rest of the day away from everyone.  It’s a beautiful sunny day, and my backyard looks like a nice peaceful retreat.



The Christmas Cactus

Cactus Plant Flower

Years ago my former beloved boss Al (may he rest in peace) gave me his Christmas Cactus when he was changing jobs out of our building to another location within the company.  This plant sat on his desk for several years, and went on to sit on my desk a few cubicles down for a good handful of years more under the same florescent lighting.  Not once in all its time in this cubicle farm did it ever bloom.  It just sat there day-in and day-out like the rest of us surviving the best that it could.

When I was laid off in August, the plant and I both had our lives changed.  We no longer were tied to that cubicle farm to sit under the oppressive florescent lighting.  The plant went on to be re-potted, and was placed on a cabinet in front of a big window with wonderful morning light.  After years of never seeing this plant flower, I noticed a small bud a few weeks ago.  Today it has come into full bloom, and it is truly a magnificent sight!

Sometimes in our lives we just need a change.  That change might not always be one that we decide for ourselves, but rather a change that is forced upon us.  At the time it may seem like the worst possible thing, but in reality it is the push we needed to see there is something better out there for us…better light, better surroundings, better opportunities.

Breaking Out of Braces

For the last 18 months my mouth has housed metal and rubber bands.  My teeth that were somewhat imperfect were transformed slowly (and painfully at times) into straight loveliness.  It has definitely been a journey, but the end results are well worth it.  Now I have 6 months of wearing clear retainers almost full-time and then transitioning to night time wear only, but this is the easy part.

I just don’t understand the Invisalign commercial that talks about “putting your life on hold” with metal braces.  I feel in no way my life was put on hold at all.  The braces even played into the cute nerdy side of me that I embrace fully (short girl in glasses with a Dr. Who t-shirt and braces…thank you yes!).  What made it an even better experience was doing this with my teenage son.  He has 6-8 more months to go, but when he said he was really in pain I KNEW what he was feeling.  We both had milkshakes and pain killers for dinner on those days.


These Broken Hands


These are the hands of an artist.  They create beautiful mosaics out of broken tile and glass.  They transform shattered plates into birds and butterflies.  These hands suffer cuts and bleed, endure dryness from mastic and grout, and have nails that are never manicured because it would all be ruined within the day.

These are also the hands of a Mother who takes care of her child.  These are working hands that can type lightning fast and sort through paperwork with ease.  These are compassionate hands always ready to give comfort to friends in need.  These hands are so many things.

These are my hands.

Wedges of Wednesday

Lake 2

It was a lovely morning once again to walk around the lake.  It’s funny how I’ve gone from saying “Good Morning” to my former co-workers as I walk past their desks to saying “Good Morning” to people who are becoming more familiar to me with each walk around the lake.  These people come from all walks of life (pun intended), and I like to think about their lives and what brings them out in the mornings to make the 2 mile trek.

This morning I saw a senior couple walking hand-in-hand.  It was almost like the woman was leading the man the way they were holding hands.  Her hand was in the dominate front position which looked a bit awkward to me as she was so much shorter than him.  But they walked steadily down the paved path quietly.  They shared a set of ear buds, and I wondered what they were listening to.  With every person that passed them the woman gave a friendly “Good Morning” with a sweet smile.

There is also a female senior who walks her little dog.  I’ve seen her every morning I walk (she walks the path the opposite direction I do), and she always says hello.  She wears a long-sleeved lightweight coat that seems to swallow her completely and a hat to shade her eyes.  I wonder about her life…if she had a husband and what she does to fill her day after she finishes her morning walk.

I talked with a man today who I’ve seen many times making the walk.  He asked if he could walk with me, and we made idle chit-chat while I finished up my lap around.  I’m a super nice person so it’s hard for me to say something like, “I’m sorry but I like to walk alone, listen to my music, and think.”  Before parting he gave me a piece of paper with his phone number saying he would like to get to know me more.  I’m just going to let that sit I think.  Maybe I should purchase a fake wedding band to ward off the unwanted attention…I guess me with no makeup, braces, frazzled hair, and covered in sweat isn’t enough of a deterrent. *sigh*

Broken Journey Into Unemployment (Post 3)

Week 2 of unemployment and I decided to not take my morning walk today.  The weather looked dismal (foggy and dark clouds), and I had a 9:30 orientation call for the transitioning service my former employer is paying for me to use for 30 days.  My resume looks terrible since I haven’t written one in 18 years, and the formatting has changed so much since then.  I’m really hoping they can help me with this.  I still have to decide what I want to do career-wise (stick it out with telecom or move on to something different), but either way I still need a solid resume!

Now I am planning the rest of my afternoon.  I have a mosaic I’m currently working on so that is at the top of the list (over cleaning my bathroom floor and dusting the house…those do not appeal to me today).  I can really see why people of retirement age who are financially secure do not retire.  Unless you have hobbies or volunteer there are a lot of hours in the day to try to fill to keep boredom at bay.

Now it’s time for lunch!

Broken Journey Into Unemployment (Post 2)

LakeAfter taking my son to school this morning (the one thankful constant still in my life), I headed over to the local lake.  I’ve made it part of my “unemployment mission” to lose the last 30 pounds that life has tacked onto my 5′ 3″ frame that I haven’t been able to get rid of.  There is a very tranquil 2 mile walking path all the way around that I really enjoy.  The temperature was a very comfortable 70 degrees, and as you can see in the picture it was just too nice to be inside.  It was great to see so many people out walking and running (I was concerned about the safety factor).   There were ladies partnered up laughing with each other, older couples out for a morning walk with their dog, some rather attractive men running shirtless, and a little bit of everything really.  Almost every one of them had a ready smile to give as we passed each other walking in opposite directions.

Another mission I have assigned myself is to get the things around the house done that I haven’t been able to get worked on.  The first step was to make the list.  It’s about half a page long so far, but it ranges from taking bags of donations to Goodwill to putting sealant on the backyard fence.  Very diverse items!

Other than that I’ve given myself this day to just relax and be calm.  I started reading The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman which was given to me by a friend, and just enjoying some Food Network TV.  I must not get in the habit of taking naps…this is a weekend delight that I want to remain just that, a weekend delight only.

The good news is there have been no tears today.  Let’s hope this is a trend!

Broken Journey Into Unemployment (Post 1)

Yesterday marked my last day of being employed (for now).  I could spin it in either a positive light, or make it look like a miserable sad state.  Let me illustrate:

(miserable sad state)  After packing up my 18 years worth of belongings from my dimly lit little cube, and using up half a box of Kleenex in the process, I drove home cursing and crying.  I probably looked like a mad woman with tears streaming down my face and obscenities flowing effortlessly from my mouth.  I then proceeded to make a pathetic ham sandwich for lunch, lay on my couch curled up in a ball, and watched Pride and Prejudice (BBC version, not the movie version) until I was put out of my misery for a short while when I fell asleep.

Now that just sounds completely negative doesn’t it?

(positive light)  After packing up my 18 years worth of belongings from my home-away-from-home cube, I drove home laughing and reminiscing about my time at said company .  I probably looked like a cheerful gal with laughter echoing from my car through the open sunroof and windows.  I then proceeded to make a delectable ham sandwich for lunch, lounge around on my couch, and watched Pride and Prejudice (BBC version, not the movie version) until I was lulled to sleep by the British lilt and dreamy characters.

While this second version is completely positive, we all know it is very unrealistic.  So where do I sit in this story?  I guess I sit somewhere in the middle, but leaning a bit to the negative side of things.  I was not spouting obscenities, but there were tears.  There was no laughter echoing from my car because the  windows were not down and the sunroof was not opened because it was a rainy day.  I also did get comfy on my couch, but I was not a miserable little ball…more like a numb log if you will.

Today starts a new day on this journey.  Let’s just see where this ride goes.

Sharp Shards of Speakerphone

I sit here in my cube cringing while listening to a co-worker who sits 15 feet away have an exhaustive conversation on speakerphone.  This is like nails on a chalkboard to me…the tinny monotone of the caller’s voice coming through just drives me completely bonkers to the point I cannot concentrate on anything I’m working on.  My Facebook friends know this too well as this has been the topic of many ranting posts.

Dear co-worker, we do not need to hear both sides of your conversation (work-related or personal).  We do not need to know that you are pissed off because a deal did not go through, or that your friend is suffering from back problems.  We do not need to know that you plan to go to TJ Max after you finish your last call of the day with a customer so you can buy a new white blouse.  We just do not need to know these things about you.  If we really wanted to know more about your personal life we would initiate conversation with you and get to know you on a personal level.  However, we do not care to do this so PLEASE use your headset.  If the call is of a very personal nature then go into one of the many conference rooms and talk on speaker until you are hoarse.  Just spare those of us who sit around you from having to hear it.

Bobbles of blah

My creativity has left me temporarily.  Normally I would spend my evenings breaking tile and creating colorful mosaics.  However, lately I have been finding comfort in sitting on my couch with a super-soft blanket enjoying the bright colors from the television.

Food TV, Cooking Channel, Science Channel, HGTV, FYI…these are my “tiles” I divide myself up into to get joy 30 minutes at a time.  So I find myself coming up with all sorts of projects to do around my house that will never happen, think of amazing meals to cook for dinner parties I will never have, and learn all sorts of useless knowledge that will only serve me well on a trivia night in the bar with a few drinks.

I know my creative juices will start flowing again soon.  Once my mind is not cluttered with thoughts of getting through this last week of employment, once I have the time during the day, once I walk into my study and feel the nippers and the tile…then I will get the urge back to create.  You will know I’ve started to create again when you see me and notice my hands.  They give away the tell-tale signs of an artist who works with her hands…the dryness from the grout, the cuts from the sharp tile edges, the rough nails.  But with those less-than-perfect hands comes the oh-so-satisfying smile on my face.

But for tonight (and probably the rest of this week) here I sit on my comfortable red couch with my plush blue blanket watching how tortillas are mass-produced on the FYI channel.  I’m craving Mexican food for some reason…