Getting a reference

When I was single in the late 90’s, I tried online dating for the first time. It was sometimes challenging to determine if someone was actually interested. At one point, I was talking about that with someone I had not actually met yet. We decided that what we really needed was some sort of date review form to fill out.

This would include such important elements as initial chemistry, how much fun was had and so on. The form would be submitted after the initial date. If either party gave a poor review, the two parties would be blocked from each other and a note sent to each indicating that the reviews indicated that further dating would not be a good idea.

Obviously, that idea was fraught with disaster so we decided to do it on our first date. Our intention was to come up with some sort of paper form, but we never got around to it. We did it verbally instead when we were in the awkward standing around near our cars trying to decide if there should be kissing part of the date.

“Hey! What about the review?” He asked.

“I had a great time, but I’m not sure we’re a match made in heaven.” I said.

“You’re cute, and I had fun too. Let’s do it again sometime.” He replied.

And I got in my car and went home unkissed.

It flamed out, as wildly inappropriate relationships between  poly guys and not poly girls do, particularly when the guy is 10 years younger and also a flake. But we had a great time.

And no, that was not the only time I came to an unusual pre-date agreement with someone over the phone. There was also a time when a potential date and I  agreed to kiss before the date even started to keep us both from possibly wasting time. He was funny and smart… Note to self to follow up and see if he is still single.

It got me thinking about the idea of dating references. Not that long ago, families and friends would be the source of all dates, so you had a sort of built in source of information about people. Their parents vouched for him with your parents. Your mutual friends thought you might hit it off. There was less risk. Not of the relationship not working, but of actual disasters such as rape or other shady behavior. Chemistry can’t really be vouched for unfortunately.

Maybe we need some form of references for dating. Past romantic partners, friends and family could score someone and vouch for brains, wit, good character, General fun quotient and so on.

If nothing else, it would give me something else to obsess about.

I wonder what my references would be like? You’d all say good things about me, right? You wouldn’t bring up how I am a total nut job who enjoys overthinking everything as a hobby, right?

Right?

Spring? Yes, please

It’s amazing how much better a person feels just getting out into warmer, dryer air.

The daffodils are out. Pink blossoms are popping out on trees. Green shoots are popping out of the ground. The infinite shades of new green are everywhere, and the blue sky has never been more welcome.

People throw off their Winter coats, and find their sandals and shorts again. The parks are full of laughing children and adults trying to remember how the gears work on their bikes. Faces squint at the bright light coming from the sky.

Spring.

This is only a preview, of course. The tease before it comes to stay in a few weeks. Or August.

It always comes right when we need it most, don’t you think?

We breathe it in, and then we can stand to battle gray skies and rain until May. Or July.

Our green plants and trees are paid for with a rain tax here. Sometimes, when it’s February and we haven’t seen blue sky since October it seems like an unfair thing to require of us.

Mostly, though, we’re thankful to have the rain if it brings us green grass, cherry blossoms, lush ferns and rivers and streams full of fish.

Don’t ask us how we feel about it in August when we haven’t seen the rain for a while.

Don’t ask us in November, when we still have months of rain in front of us.

Ask us in that week in late February or March when we get a sneak preview of what Spring means.

If you ask us then, we’ll tell you it’s worth it.

Small victories…so very small…

What does it say about a person that there are times when the victories in life need to be measured with a micrometer?  Yes, I am the person. It’s my blog, of course I am the person.

What does it mean if my major victory of the last several weeks is just getting through them at all?

What if sometimes my victory of the day was making it out of bed to the couch?

What if my victory was not curling up in a ball and wailing? Much.

It’s been that kind of a year overall, and the last two weeks have been particularly brutal both professionally and personally.

I’ve been dumped. I’ve watched my colleagues and friends at work get laid off. I’m still waiting to find out if I’ll share their fate. I’ve been sick not once, but twice. I failed a professional certification test. I feel battered, depressed and powerless. I have the focus of a gnat. Not even an adult gnat. A toddler gnat. I’m not sleeping. There have been days when I have been almost entirely without a sense of humor. I know things are grim when my sense of humor goes. It is the most robust thing about me.

Am I taking steps to get past it?  Well, yes. I’ve actually been handling things fairly productively considering that I would really love to be curled up in the fetal position. I’ve had one meeting with a life coach/career counselor and another scheduled. I have also met with a psychologist to verify that my emotional responses are not totally out of line with reality. She concurred that life is being a bitch to me right now and I’m responding normally.  In fact, she was pretty impressed that I was making it through this without either bourbon or potato chips. Yay, me!

I’ve also made several contingency plans for handling possible future poverty, I’ve updated my resume, I’ve cut back on expenses and I’m saving as much money as I can in case I need it later.  My diet is (mostly) healthy.

Still.

I am a ball of stress and anxiety, and anxiety isn’t really one of my usual issues. I overthink things all the time, but it’s more recreational. I enjoy thinking, but this is a different thing. It’s a sick to the stomach kind of feeling. I don’t get that. Ever. So I’m trying to remember that my shoulders do not belong up by my ears, and that there are simple steps I can take as many times a day as I need to in order to make sure that doesn’t happen. At least not very much.

What’s  that? I can use my mantra. I’m still having some trouble remembering to use my mantra when I need it.

My mantra? Have you all forgotten what my mantra is?

Repeat after me–it works for anyone:

GIVE YOURSELF A FUCKING BREAK.

(and breathe)

I just added the part about breathing. It felt a little stale with just the yelling part.

What could I be doing better? I am all about continuous fucking quality improvement even in this time of misery.

I could be getting more exercise. A lot more exercise. To that end, I will set up one of the spare bedrooms as a little gym this weekend. And use it. I will also be better about going for at least one walk while I am at work. Getting closer to Spring will help both because the additional light will make me feel better and because it will make going for a walk less of a raindrop avoidance task. I was going to do it last weekend, but being sick intervened.

I could be reaching out to my friends more. Why is it that when we really need the support of our friends, we feel like we’re bothering them and fall out of touch? That’s what I do, anyway. Probably because I feel like I’m boring and whiny, and who wants to be around someone who’s boring and whiny? MY FRIENDS DO!  Right? You do, because you’re awesome! So I’ll try to do better. Yeah. I’m a lot more likely to get more exercise…

Work-wise, I need to start studying for another professional certification so I can get that done before any possible unemployment ensues. Testing is already scheduled because what I need in my life is MORE FUCKING PRESSURE. Sigh.

Lastly, I need to take some time to get a creative workspace set up again. I’ll probably feel better with a saw in my hand.

What? Don’t you?

 

I did have an actual victory today, which is that I did manage to pass my Epic Inpatient CE exam. Barely. It should have been easy, but apparently toddler gnats don’t test as well as I usually do.

Late addition:  yet another victory today. I found a boot that I lost last week. It was in the laundry hamper. Because of course where else would it be?