April 13, 2018

The countdown is on... or maybe it's the biological clock I hear...

You know how sometimes you stress/fret/ponder/question/analyze/wonder about things outside of your control? I rarely do that, and I am serious when I say that. Some past highly stressful life experiences have taught me that there’s no point in worrying because doing so rarely solves anything; things almost always work out in the end. Yet there’s this one teeny weenie thought that keeps popping in my head that causes me to pull a Rodin and really think about.

I hate math. I still use my fingers to count and anything outside of basic addition and subtraction causes my brain to violently hemorrhage. So when you add a disconcerting thought with a hatred of math, you’ve got a big ol’ conundrum on your hands… which I do, but not really.

Bear with me here...

You see, I’m at that age where numbers really factor into things. How many more years until I retire. The rapid rate at which my hair is turning gray. The amount I still owe in student loans. The number of childbearing years I have left in my life. Wait, what? Did I say that? Ok, hear me out.

I am 38 years old. THIRTY-EIGHT. At this point my eggs aren’t dried up, just slightly pickled.. but as a single, barren, thirty-eight year old, here is how my head works:

I’m a few months into my thirty-eighth year. So, let’s say I meet the man of my dreams sometime this year (snicker snicker). We date for a couple of years which will make me 40. We go on a vacation to somewhere warm where he proposes to me in an overly emotional way (for him, not me), I accept. We date for another year or so just to make sure he’s not a psycho (like my ex) and alas, I’m 42. We get married and take a year or two to honeymoon it. Now I’m pushing 44. FORTY-FOUR!! That is half of 88 (that was the extent of my math skills going on right there)!! Who wants to have a kid at 44?? Not me. Not to mention my eggs will be shriveled up and dead by then.

So let the math continue (shoot me now). So I have a kid at 44. That means I will potentially have a kid at my house until I am 62 years old. There is always the chance that I will kill the kid because I don’t have the patience that I used to (snicker snicker again. I have never been patient), so that could play into this whole thing as well.

When it comes down to it, let’s be real, I won’t find someone who can put up with me and there won’t be any immaculate conception going on here… so maybe I just do it by myself? Hard decisions call for a good ol’ pros and cons list:

  • I think I would make a stellar parent (with the exception of the patience-thing).
  • I’d mold him/her to be a mini-me which in turn would be awesome.
  • I’d have a built in sober driver.. that’s ok right?
  • I have always wanted to say to my kid, “I will remember that!” like my mother used to say to me?
  • I could blame him/her for me being chubby. “I just haven’t lost that baby weight yet!”
  • I want someone to take care of me when I’m old? Which I would be soon after they were born… so…
  • As a parent you get a whole day all about you: Mother's/Father's day. Hellooo presents!
  • I could name he/she anything I wanted. Bocephus Klein has a nice ring to it.

  • He/She would take up my precious time and I have very little of it even now.
  • I’d have to move out of my little house (or have a Flowers in the Attic type setup)…
  • I’ve heard horror stories of child birth and the aftermath. Sounds painful and unpleasant.
  • I like to sleep without interruptions.
  • I would have to spend my money on things other than Coors Light. Deal.breaker.
  • I would have to keep a job for more than a year.. psh..
  • I’d have to befriend other moms… who will be half my age. No thanks.
  • Tickets to get out of this state are expensive enough and having to buy another seat for a kid? Probs not.
  • Do I really want to bring a child into this world? I don’t know see good ol’ fashioned values coming back into play anytime soon and this world has kind of gone to crapola.
  • I think it’d be harder to find a date with a kid.. Oh, wait. I can’t find a date without one. Moot point.

Maybe I will just pretend to be faux-prego for a while and see how it feels. Let me start my checklist to prepare:
  • Eat enough for two. ü
  • Grow a baby bump. ü(although some may call it a beer belly) 
  • Have constant mood swings. ü
  • Pee all the time. ü
  • Buy maternity pants. ü (thought I was buying super comfy pants..nope, maternity)

So what are y’alls thoughts on this? For those of you who don’t have kids, do you regret it? For those of you who do have kids, do you regret it? HA!

November 7, 2017

"Time is the wisest counselor of all." ~~Pericles

Time is a funny, funny, thing. Minutes can seem like days and yet some days can go by in a blink of an eye. There is a particular set of days I've been counting lately, a number that had an end date that seemed light years away. You see, I decided to quit drinking for the month of October. In the grand scheme of things, a month isn't that long when compared to a lifetime, but for someone giving up something that they enjoy, a month is 31 days, 744 hours, 44,640 minutes, 2,678,400 seconds long. It may as well be infinity. Times two.

So why Sober October (as it was deemed by my friends)? I think the obvious answer to anyone who knows me is that Beth+Beer is like peas in a pod, knives and forks, ketchup and grilled cheese, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.. you get it. I was getting to a point where my drinking was becoming an issue and it took some great friends and some honest family members to point it out in a not-so-gentle way. It wasn't that I wasn't going to work or was shirking my responsibilities, I was "functioning" as they say. It was more so that I had gained 50lbs in one summer, was incredibly unhealthy, spent way too much money, and was spending far too much time imbibing or recovering. So not drinking for 31 days seemed like the right thing to do at the right time. If I'm being honest, I was only going to stop for 28 days so I could celebrate Halloween with my friends.

Here are a few things I learned in those 31 days:

  • It really helps to have a friend be sober with you.
  • There is no shame in telling people you don't/aren't drinking. I thought people wouldn't want to hang out with me during my 31 day stint, but that just hasn't been the case.
  • I saved SO much money! When we play trivia my tab is next to nothing because there's not expensive booze on it. 
  • I am still funny without alcohol (but I'm sure my comedic abilities were exceptional while intoxicated). 
  • I drink so much more water than I ever have, which I hear is good for you. 
  • I gained so much time to do things that are important. I think of all the time spent at a bar and how much more productive I could have been and I cringe a bit... maybe more than a bit.
  • I feel 95% better. I sleep better, I wake up feeling better. I don't have hang overs. I get up early and get things done instead of lying around in a fog all day. Weekends are so long!!
  • I feel less bloated and gross and I think I'm down 10+ lbs in just one month. Crazy.

I think the most important thing I learned in those 31 days, and something I was a little nervous about to be honest, is that I don't NEED alcohol. I think I used it as a band-aid for a long time and instead of coping with things, I just got drunk. Now I'm at a place in my life where I am content, ready to be happy and healthy, and am supported by a great network of friends and family. Drinking became a habit and I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to kick it. Most things in my life revolved around it (trivia, bonfires, dinner parties, going to the lake, etc. etc. etc.) and yet, here I find myself not missing it one bit. I won't lie and say I don't miss the bar scene, because I love talking to people, meeting new people, and the whole vibe. But, I don't have to miss that anymore because lo and behold, as the universe often seems to work, I started working IN a bar where I get the same opportunities to chit chat while serving alcohol instead of consuming it. A win/win if you ask me.

Well, I didn't drink on Halloween. I went and played BINGO, went thrift shop perusing, and went to dinner with my Sober Bestie and had a great time. I also haven't drank since, nor do I see myself picking it back up again anytime soon. 36 days going strong. That's not to say I won't have a few beers here and then, but I will never, mark my words, ever, go back to how it's been. 

A huge thank you to everyone who has been super supportive during this time and put up with Sober Beth (I hear I was a little cranky for a bit)... and an even bigger thank you to Torrie who took this journey with me, has also stuck it out, and who I can still laugh uncontrollably with over the dumbest little things. To think we thought we'd be boring sober! Only great things to come, I feel it. 

August 20, 2017

Tears of a Clown

As most of you know this last year has been difficult for me. Saying "difficult" downplays how bad I felt during the last year but doesn't downplay the magnitude of the situations. I mean, I'm still alive, moderately healthy, great friends, my family is all doing well, etc. etc.. So saying "difficult" in those respects is like saying, "I had a difficult trip to Paris because my private plane wouldn't start." Yet, this past year has drained me emotionally and spiritually. I wish I could say it drained me physically but rather than anything draining per se, I've managed to fill up (and out) quite nicely. For those of you who are on the periphery, you probably wouldn't even know that this year has pushed me beyond what I thought I could handle because it's not every day you are honest when someone asks how you're doing. If you did ask, and if I had been honest, I would have told you that I felt like life was compiling boulders on my shoulders that I was not sure I was strong enough to handle.

1 Timothy 6:10 KJV states: "For the love of money is the root of all evil".  I relied on money and what money could buy to make me happy. But you see, it isn't the having of money that matters, it's the not-having of money that makes the real difference.

I've had jobs where I made $15 an hour and I've had jobs where I've made far more than that. Nothing in my life changed by the increase in salary. Literally, nothing changed. I had a nice place to live, drove a decent car, did the same recreational things. What changed was how I spent the money; foolishly. My house is like the room on Wheel of Fortune that they pan to so the contestants can see the prizes. OOhhhh, AHHH.... Not that my house is filled with treasures, it's filled with stuff. Dumb stuff that I spent money on because I could (and did.. a lot because it made me feel good).

So an increase in salary doesn't mean much, but take away that salary and it's a whole new world. Imagine living on your savings for a year or more. Could you do it? Do you even have savings? How far above your means do you live? What items in your life are worth having if you were to lose your "means"? Ask yourself that question. Look at your life and what's important; it isn't the stuff. It just isn't. Deep down we all know that, but it doesn't stop us from desiring it. It's the people that support you through the rough times that matter, and if you treat people poorly trying to keep up with the Joneses, nobody will be there when the shit hits the fan. So by all means, make yourself feel "good" by spending egregiously-- but pray every day that you don't get to a point where you're selling that stuff for a fraction of the cost at a garage sale because your ivory tower crumbled. It's truly that, just stuff.

Over 50% of divorced couples stated that financial issues were the cause. A study done by the American Psychological Association found over 3/4 of American's suffer from financial stress. It isn't easy to talk about and quite frankly it's embarrassing to admit to, but it happens and when it it does it hits like a sledgehammer. It's uncomfortable to be around other people not experiencing it and who don't understand it. How many times this year I've heard, "It's only $_____." Yes well, only $____ can also keep my lights on and gas in my car, so.....

It humbles a person, especially as an adult, to have to ask for help. I used to be too proud to do that, but this year I had to ask for help and luckily for me, I have wonderful friends and amazing family that supported me through one of the worst years of my life thus far (and not just financially speaking). Being able to pay them back financially is easy, but paying them back for their emotional support is something I don't think I will ever be able to do. I'm rich in the sense that I have that support system, and rich in the sense that I know now what is most important in my life, and that is rich enough for me.
(unless you want to will me your life savings.. I'm not too rich to deny you doing that)

June 17, 2017

What would you do with the truth?

Is there such a thing as being too honest? I don’t think so, but if you know me, that probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. I also know that I am not perfect, nor is anyone else. What you are about to read is a true story that I couldn’t possibly fully depict or explain in it's entirety with words.

A few things have happened in the last year that got me thinking that either a) I need to cut back on my honesty b) other people need to learn how to accept an honest response or, c) maybe my thinking that a true friend will always be honest with me isn’t really true.

Case A

“Barb” and I were friends for 6 or 7 years. Bit-by-bit, I started noticing things that Barb would do that would make me stop and go “hmmm”. Barb pulled some really crappy moves with me and with other friends and after much consideration I decided to let Barb know what was on my mind. Albeit not pretty, or done in the most friendly of ways, I explained to her that I didn’t think she was being a good friend and detailed instances that supported my theory. It was always “All about Barb” and I never realized that until, well, I did. A friendship, like any other relationship, should be two-sided and with Barb it wasn’t. I know it sounds crazy, but looking at it retrospectively, it was almost as if she didn’t even understand that the things she would do would affect the other person. Needless to say Barb and I are no longer friends and I feel a weight lifted because of it. Supporting an unhealthy friendship is exhausting and I was done pretending all was a-ok.

Back to my original point: If you were Barb, would you have wanted to know that you weren’t a good friend? Would you have taken what was said and really thought about how you treat people? Could you self reflect and really think about why you treat people a certain way? Or, would you defend yourself and project back onto me?

My thoughts: If a friend, or anyone really, came to me and said, “Beth, I feel that you aren’t giving in our relationship and that sometimes you can be a little selfish. I don’t understand why you do _________ and/or__________.  It hurts my feelings when you __________ and/or___________.” I would be mortified. Absolutely mortified. I would go home, sit on my couch and really think about what they said. I would feel terrible and probably make them something homemade as an apology gift (a little overboard, but I might actually do that). I would absolutely want to know if a friend of mine was having ill feelings towards me in any way. That is their job as my friend to be honest with me, regardless of how I might feel about it.

What about you? Would you want your friends/family to be honest with you? 
What would you do with that information once it was received? 
Why wouldn’t you want your loved ones to be honest with you?

May 24, 2017

Online Dating Part Deux

They say there is someone out there for everyone. I don’t know who “they” are but I think they are liars. I’m not speaking from personal experience… just kidding, I am.
I’ve met some people in my life that I’ve thought were pieces of work. I mean, we all have faults but some people are just not good people, or nice people, or caring, or giving or whatever they aren’t. Case in point:
I met “Chris” several years ago. Chris is a nice fella. He was single when I met him and we all knew why… he was unkempt, didn’t smell so great, and was just very…. Odd. Then one day he starts mentioning his girlfriend and I about fell off my very tall pedestal. He found a girl that liked him? Wanted to touch him? Have “relations” with him? Mind. Blown. Then I started looking around and thinking, “Wow, he has a wife.. she has a husband.. how does that even happen!?” Yes, I realize I’m sounding very, very, snobby right now, but really.. think about it! Have you ever met someone who is super bitchy but married to the absolute nicest guy? How does that happen?! (You can ask my husband when we marry)
If you asked my friends and my mom they would said I’m single because I’m too picky. I, on the other hand, do not feel that is a bad quality. My picker has been wrong in the past so why trust it? I asked a friend recently to set me up with one of his single friends. His response? “Why, so you can date him for a month, focus on everything you don’t like about him and then break his heart?” Ouch.. Maybe people are thinking, “No surprise that Beth girl is single!” But you know what? I AM SURPRISED!
I’ve done the online dating thing for a while now. I would say I was honest when creating my profile. My pictures look like me, I didn’t say my body was “slim”, and didn’t say that my exercise habits occurred with any frequency or at all for that matter. So what’s the deal? Why am I not going on dates every night? I mean, hello? I said I liked to hike, camp, fish, bonfire it up, cook, drink beer, put out (just kidding mom). Who wouldn’t want to date me? Since this hasn’t been working for me I think I’m going to switch it up a bit.

Age: 37 with the bod of an 80 year old.
Profession: This year it’s program supervisor until I get fired. Again.
Height: 5’3” because of slouching due to being top heavy.
Body type: Let’s just say there is muscle under there somewhere. Also, don’t try to pick me up. Especially if you’ve had hemorrhoids or hernias in the past.
Education: Bachelor’s degree that took me 34 years and left me indebted to the government until I die.
Do you have children? By that do you mean 13 chickens and one cat? Then yes.
Do you want children? Well, maybe. Although I’m afraid of needing hip replacement surgery after so….
Do you do drugs? I do like to sniff gasoline when it spills.. but not enough for real fun.
Hair Color: I like to call it, “Starry, starry night.” aka dark brown with hints of gleaming gray.
How ambitious are you? Well, I climbed the one flight of stairs to get to my office today rather than taking the elevator. In all actuality, it’s because the elevator is WAY at the other end of the building and would require a long walk just to get there and then I’d have to walk ALL the way back to my office. #LoseLose

Describe yourself:

         I like lists. Case in point:
  •         I remember when I was younger and used to tell myself, “Beth, you will never reach 130lbs!” Now I just think about those days and laugh hysterically. Not too hard because I might pee a little and that’s just never enjoyable.
  •          I hate shaving my legs and will refrain from doing so for lengthy periods of time.
  •      I snore. I like to blame it on acid reflux but really it’s because my chins cut off my breathing I think.
  •         I will try anything once, but if I am not good at it, or I can’t beat you at it, I will probably never do it again.
  •          You will have to sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door in case a murderer comes in to kill us while we sleep.
  •          Although some descriptions may seem self-deprecating, it’s really not that. It’s really just a very realistic view of myself that I feel everyone should have. Especially people who wear leggings.
  •         I like classic country music and I will not apologize for that. If you don’t like to listen to it, you can drive separately and/or wear ear plugs. I suggest the wax ones because they really drown out the sound.
  •         I don’t cry very often. If I do it’s probably because of two things: 1) I’m cutting onions 2) SPCA commercials paired with the soft heart wrenching sound of Sarah McLachlan come on.
  •         I am a mediocre cook. Granted every dish in the house will be dirty when I’m done and you will be expected to clean up the mess, but hey, at least you got a meal.
  •         I enjoy walking about my house in the comfort of my own skin. This is more of a warning than an invitation.
  •          I used to say that I am most comfortable in jeans and a tee-shirt but the reality is, jeans are really uncomfortable and unforgiving. HELLOOO elastic my new best friend.
  •         I have many male friends. That can be an issue for most guys. If you are that guy? Buh Bye.. I don’t need you. I have many male friends.. oh wait..

I think with this list I will bring in a new assortment of fine fellows that will understand and appreciate all that is Beth. It’s not that I don’t like the 60 year old men hitting me up, or the guys from countries I can’t pronounce. It’s just that I’m ready for something new and fresh and rich. 
Image result for online dating meme

February 21, 2017

What is it all about, and why don't I care?

I would like to preface this post with the statement that I am not, nor have I ever been, in such despair that I would do something to myself. While I can attest to the fact that there is most definitely some depression going on in my life right now, this is not a cry for help in any way, shape, or form. It's merely me with too much time on my hands (or brain) to think too much about "stuff".

So what is "it" all about- this thing we call life and do I really care? I have been asking myself that over and over again for the past year and I still haven't quite come up with an answer. There are going to be those of you out there reading this that are already looking up some sort of meme about how you create your own destiny, or life is what you make of it, or all that other BS. Please refrain from doing so because I will instantly dislike you and wonder why we are friends. (Maybe a bit dramatic, but you get my drift)

This is my life, so this is the only "it" I can talk about and ponder and mull over and over. Let's start from the beginning:

I had a plan for my life. I thought I would graduate high school, move to Minnesota for college, get a job, find a husband, have some kids, live happily ever after and all that fairy tale jazz. While I did move to Minnesota, nothing thereafter went as it was supposed to in my "plan". Since then, I've kind of been searching for my purpose. What am I supposed to do with my life? Where am I supposed to do it? With whom?

I have this overwhelming feeling that I've failed at something, yet an even more overwhelming feeling that I don't really care. I have accomplished nothing in my life as far as my career, having a family, buying a home, being financially secure, a great bod and yet, I don't seem to really care. Why? Is it because I legitimately don't care, or have I become so complacent that I just can't muster up the strength to give a flying hoot? Maybe it's because I believe in the theory that everything happens for a reason, and that just because I haven't hit my stride in life doesn't mean it isn't going to happen? Who knows?

I think what this post comes down to, and the hours I've spent thinking about it is, I know I only have this one life to live and I am not doing anything to actually live it. I exist in it with no rhyme or reason, very little effort or desire, and without a lot of joy. I see my friends taking chances and leaving to teach abroad, or start their own companies, or adopt babies because they can't have their own. I become jealous of the mere idea of doing those things because I don't have the cajones to do them even though I want to. I want to "live" my life, I just don't know how. There's this stigma that you grow up, get a job, and stay in it for 30 years for the retirement. That idea makes me want to puke. I hate sitting at a desk taking orders from people. I do love being a waitress (or server if you want to be PC about it). So why don't I just do that instead of getting a "real" job? As sad it sounds,  I feel like I'd be judged for doing so. "She couldn't make it in the real world so now she has to do this." There are a lot of things, most things actually, in this world that I don't care about being judged for. I don't need to own designer anything, live in a big house, drive expensive cars, etc. etc. People can judge me on all the materialistic things in the world, but I cannot handle being judged for my intellect, ability, or my competency. Hell, maybe they wouldn't blink an eye seeing me take their orders, but deep down I think they would, and that would be too much for my little ego to handle.

I've read The Secret, as have some of my friends. I understand the theory that the universe gives you what you put out into it- if you believe in that sort of thing- so maybe that's why this dark cloud is following me around...Maybe the Universe is saying, "Hey Klein, your attitude sucks, change it." Maybe I'm just tired of getting the short end of the stick all the time... Maybe I've hit rock bottom and the way out is just too steep, and my give a f's are so, so few. I don't know!! I don't know what the answer is to this overwhelming feeling of "I don't care". Do we have to have a purpose in life? How do you know what yours is? Does it matter if you do or don't know?

Here's the thing- I know I'm not happy, I know there are ways I could go about being happier, I just have no will power to do so, and I don't know how to get it back. Until I do, I guess I will continue this woe is me pity party and wait for the call from my mother asking me if I'm ok. (I am)

January 17, 2017

The Age Ol' Question

A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I believed in God. My natural response was, "Yes, I think so." Then I quickly blabbered on and on to ineffectively explain myself while simultaneously trying to convince myself why I thought I did. I've been thinking about that moment a lot lately, especially after the last few weeks. Do I believe in God?

I recall a time years ago when my mom and I had this conversation and she said, "You're telling me that if you were in a plane that was going down, you wouldn't pray to God?" Hmm.. I suppose I would. Then I go back to reading the first book of the "Left Behind" series that states that non-believers will be left behind while true believers in Christ will be raptured and taken to Heaven so as to not have to deal with the sure-to-come apocalypse. So then I think, "Well, crap. Would I be left behind or raptured?" Just because people go to church and pray doesn't mean they are true believers, and Lord knows (pun intended.. if a pun at all) that I haven't stepped foot in a church since Jesus was a kid (which, by the way, nobody knows exactly when that was.. or even IF it was)

So here I am this last week, giving this question deep thoughts. Like, Jack Handy deep. Do I believe in God? I am talking monotheistically here, because quite frankly, that's all I've ever learned about.

If I were to be honest with myself, and you, I would say the answer to that question is no. I believe that everyone has an energy/aura within and surrounding themselves. This energy is what you feel instantly when you meet someone. It has been said that dog's can sense evil. How can they do that without knowing or talking to the person? I believe negativity is given off in someones energy, just as positivity is. You get what energy you put out there. I know this is all sounding like hogwash to some of you out there but I truly believe this... ok back to it.
So let's say, that when we die, our energy doesn't leave us. Let's say, that we can project that energy to those still living. Some would call these "spirits" or even "angels". I believe we all have them surrounding us, guiding us, protecting us. At one time or another you have done something and a little voice in your head has said, "No, no, no... I wouldn't do that!" You may call it intuition, but have you ever thought about where that comes from? If you were driving down the road and that little voice said, "Don't take a right up here like you normally do", and then you take the right anyway and there is an accident and you get stuck in traffic for three hours. If that little voice is intuition, then are you psychic? How could you have known in advance that there would be an accident- and if you did know, intuitively, why didn't you listen to yourself? Is it harder to believe that you yourself have psychic qualities or is it harder to believe that you have spirits around you that guide and help you?

I recently heard an analogy that made sense to me. Our energies are like radio giving off waves of frequencies. Once we've departed we are still giving off those wavelengths of energy and we direct them towards someone. We all have the ability to hear them, but we need to learn to tune those frequencies so we can hear the messages being projected. Some people can do this easier than others. My grandmother used to tell me she could "feel" her departed husband and hear him too. I used to think she was a bit crazy, but then I started hearing more stories of people who could hear/feel their angels and I was a bit jealous. Some knew exactly who theirs were, others didn't. Some could even ask questions and receive answers. Crazy, right?

I know this is getting deep, and as I write this I'm thinking about those of you who are going to think I've fallen off my rocker, but oh well! So I have these angels, and yes, I'm going to call them that- that project energy to me. I believe that while there are occurrences in our lives that damn near break us, everything does indeed happen for a reason. Our lives are a series of fortunate events that happen so that we learn something, experience something, feel something, meet someone. I believe our angels are the ones guiding us through it and are there for support when we need them. Knowing this allows me to heal faster and look forward to where my journey will take me. I can take solace in believing that Zoe passing during a time of great flux for me, is my angel's way of saying, "Hey, one chapter of your life has ended, now it's time to begin a new one." How does God fit into all of this? I have no idea whatsoever. I don't even know if he does.

So here's to the next stop on this crazy journey I call life and dammit, I'm looking forward to it!