I'm Grumpy.

And I really have no reason to be grumpy. 

We're all healthy, we have a roof over our heads, we have love, family, friends, and more amenities than we probably need.  There has been no earthquake here, we have no fear of poison in our skies.  I have a loving husband who treats me with respect, my kids are happy and healthy and hilarious. 

But shocking and sad news from afar and from close by, about countries far away and friends close by who are suffering pains and losses - they are clouding my worldview right now. 

To me, no one has adequately answered why bad things happen to good people.  I just can't wrap my mind around it.  It is so unfair, so painful, to know that senseless and sometimes random acts of hatred, of violence, of loss happen over and over, day after day.

I can't reconcile some of the injustices in the world.  I can't comprehend how my gay friends can't marry, but that I could.  Watching the news is dismal - local, national, international - you name it, it is probably depressing.  I don't understand why teachers are under attack, but elected officials from all parties manage to screw over their constituents on most issues.  Laws meant to protect abused women and children seem to be a joke, and really offer no help to those in need.  And how could anyone could truly think that health care for all is a bad idea?  I don't get how celebrities and sports figures are revered, and people who work for non-profits barely make a living.  These are just a few of the examples swirling in my head.

And what is worse than all of this gloom?  The fact that in the midst of all of this sadness and pain, I can still manage to find things in my life to complain about - traffic making me late, waiting too long at a doctor's office, being the one who always makes the lunches, not having a million dollars in the bank and doing whatever I want, whenever I want...

So that is really why I am grumpy - the guilt and realization that I'm human - I'm petty sometimes.  Too self-centered sometimes.  Not grateful enough most of the time. 

Time to step back and 'see the forest for the trees'...


List lust

I don't just enjoy lists - I don't just LOVE making lists...I live for lists.

The rush from making a list -- organizing what needs to be done, what steps are necessary -- is such a high.  Even better is getting to cross things off when the task is accomplished - oh!  Be still my heart!  And, when the perfect storm hits and I can actually complete everything on the list and have nothing left to attack - orgasmic!  Like, if I still smoked, I'd light a cigarette, it's that good.

But lately, my lust for lists has left me feeling overwhelmed, defeated, depleted.  Seeing all of the t0-do's isn't as empowering and motivating as it once was, and I find myself resenting the very thing I used to enjoy so much.  Sensing a pattern in these posts???  I am!

About a year ago we mounted a white board/corkboard on a wall in the kitchen (by we I mean I told M - "hang this here"), mainly to have one place to scrawl down things needed at the store, and to keep a running list of household to-do's.  It's worked nicely, but as the months have ticked by, I've noticed that some of the tasks remain on the list for quite some time.  Partly because they are big-ticket, time-sucking activities (Rewire electricity in garage, for instance, is not so easily accomplished).  And, partly because I'm just not as interested in, say, power-washing the porch and outside furniture as I am in, for instance - well, doing anything. 

With free time (hilarious, right - who has that?) at a minimum, I would much rather read with the kids, do a craft with C, or spend time with M than file bank statements or sync all of our BlackBerry's.  But at the same time, I really like to be organized and keep things moving and working well...what's a girl to do?

For now, the answer is NO MORE LIST ON THE WHITE BOARD.  It's just too depressing these days.  So, I took care of the tasks written on the list, and have made sure to keep up with important items, but am not writing them down and keeping track.  And it feels so much better when I walk through to the laundry area - I can actually look up and not feel the guilt (that I place on myself) from keeping a big list of things that end up being "have to" instead of "want to". 

I wonder if part of the rush in writing the lists and then checking things off was that I was showing myself - and those around me - how virtuous I was being.  (I mean, I've even been known to write things down I'd already achieved earlier that day, just so I could write them down and cross them off too - don't want to miss a thing, right?).  Was I trying to show how much I was tackling, how hard I was working, how much I was accomplishing? After all, I do love my "gold stars".  Maybe not needing the lists is in part me growing up and being in a place where I don't need the credit, don't need the gold stars anymore. 

Well, at least not all the time.