Category Archives: Angsty

Prozac considered.

Nooo… It can’t be…

A few months ago, while in the shower, I was sickened by the sudden realization that it was 2006 and that my 25th high school reunion should be coming up over the summer. My mind whirred as I calculated how much time I would have to lose weight, get in shape and renew my attitude (I was much more outgoing 2 1/2 decades ago!). Crap, not much. The only way to lose a quick 50+ lbs would be to lop off my legs.

Would the reunion be as soon as June? I made a note to check the online "reunions" section of the local paper.

For the next couple of weeks, I religiously scanned the reunions section – no mention of my Class of '81. In fact, there were NO 25th Anniversary announcements. Maybe the Gods were on my side and I would actually have another 5 years to get back into my fighting weight. (Of course, I've had other opportunities to do this – I attended my 10 year reunion, then skipped the 15 and 20 year reunions…)

The summer quickly passed and I figured that I was safe. Phew.

Then, as the calendar flipped to September, the mailman brought the dreaded invitation… Sure enough, somebody was working on a reunion (of course, it was the cheerleaders… damn them to hell!), scheduled for the end of the month.

Panic immediately set in. I'd have to lop off my arms, too.

No, no, it would be impossible to attend an event of this magnitude without any of my limbs. Who'd do my hair?

I was surprised at the clarity and swiftness of my response – nope, I won't be attending. Period.

While it's true that I liked some of my classmates, I hated high school. I was a wallflower, whose confidence was fragile to begin with but only got worse as the years went by. My little clique disowned me for reasons I can't remember during my senior year (you know how high school drama can be – especially when hormones have yet to gel firmly). In hindsight, I'm not sure anyone remembers – since I was welcomed to sit at "their" table at the 10 year reunion.

Kids.

But is it worth $35 to put myself in a position that would only serve to make me feel bad? Everyone will be married (a few will be divorced and maybe remarried), have kids (probably a few grandkids, too), exciting careers, full lives. I'm perpetually single, barren and stuck in a dead-end job. While I would prefer that these things were different, the fact is that they have all been my choices based upon decisions I've made.

Skipping tonight's reunion is another choice.

Seasonal Angst

Terror Alert Level

Ever feel like something bad is about to happen?

I have been experiencing an ever-growing sense of dread.

People who know me probably aren’t surprised by this statement since I’ve been waiting for the ‘other shoe’ to drop since 9/11…

Still, I wish I could say that world events are fueling this. Certainly the never-ending rioting by the “unnamed youths” throughout France (to clear the country of excess automobiles, apparently) and yesterday’s homicide bombings in Jordan should make the cheeriest Polly Anna cringe and think dark thoughts about humanity and our perilous plight. But I’m no Polly Anna. No, I’m more like her bi-polar twin, Molly Leanna. You know the one – the ever-pessimistic voice in the crowd.

Or even the sick sucking sound coming from my checking account as gas prices continue to fluctuate from ‘an arm and a leg’ range to ‘an arm and a poke in the eye with a sharp stick’ range… It might be the fact that Christmas ads are already polluting the airwaves – harkening yet another season of gift giving. (Yes, that is sarcasm.) Or perhaps it’s the pending onslaught of winter and the depressing realization that sub zero temps and wind chills are going to be the norm for the next six months.

SIX MONTHS.

While this thought is enough to send even the sanest individual into a spiral of discontent (if not a suicidal fog), it’s probably simpler than that.

I suspect it’s hormones running rampant.

Very rampant.

Time will tell.

The new job duties, now firmly in to month #2, are building – and the stress of managing $3-6M dollars daily is making me overly angsty. I blew through $1.4M in less than 20 minutes today. Actually, each transaction took less than 2 minutes. A click of a button and whoosh $1.2M on its way to Europe. Another click and whoosh $108,000 heading to Japan. Honestly, it’s a heady experience that I love. As I’ve been reminded – it’s always easier to play with Other Peoples Money. OPM. Ah, yes.

Yet, I find it somewhat disturbing, too. Am I the only person who sees the irony in moving ME to Treasury?!

If anyone were to monitor either my home use of Quicken, my review of my “finance” spreadsheet or my obsessive-compulsive checking of my both my online bank activity and credit card balances, I’m sure that I’d register in the “seriously demented and insecure” range… When the new login message asks incredulously, “You again? You just visited!”, I know I’ve been logging in too frequently. I am totally and utterly paranoid of missing a payment or over-drawing my account. The thought of incurring a late payment fee is a nightmare that I will go to great lengths to avoid. Once in a while, I feel like a member of the Wallenda family balancing the funds of my checking account versus the payments due to my creditors. And if that’s not ALL… I worry that some scumbag will steal my identity.

My ears perked up this morning when I overheard a co-worker telling another co-worker that he now has Identity Theft Insurance. Initially, I thought to myself, ‘Well, I should look in to that…’ then the more my co-worker talked about it (and his rampant paranoia was exposed), I realized that all the insurance in the world won’t help prevent me from becoming a victim. It still comes down to personal responsibility… And that leads me back to my almost compulsive review of my checking, savings and credit card accounts.

The scary thing is that I find myself checking the intra-day activity on the treasury account at work probably twice as often (if not more than) my predecessor.

I don’t like surprises.

Where’d 2004 Go?

Well, folks, 2004 is quickly coming to a close.

A maudlin pall has fallen over me as I recognize another year has slipped away and I’m no closer to any of my dreams or goals than I was one, five or even ten years ago. The fact is, I can’t even remember what those dreams and goals were…

Funny how living life day to day, going to work to earn money to pay the bills, can so fully stifle ones dreams.

I can’t pin-point the exact date that it happened, but a few years ago when the realization that my “career” was anything but a full-fledged “career” (read: nothing more than a dead-end job with unwanted stress), my dreams, goals, aspirations – whatever you want to call them – all seemed to shrivel up and die. Their death was so protracted, I don’t think anyone heard their plaintive cries for help.

Maybe they were just put on ice. An extended hibernation. Or they simply took off and are officially AWOL.

I don’t know.

I think it’s funny (in a very ironic sense) that every year (like clockwork) I go through this extremely painful self-reflecting period filled with angst-ridden emotion. Worse, I can actually picture Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy and Tony Robbins all sitting in their offices, rubbing their hands together, gleefully laughing at the turmoil their companies are causing tens of thousands of people across the globe.

More on this topic later – I still have lots to say.

Thanksgiving – Missing the Jello… (Who in their right mind puts CELERY in lime Jello?!)

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season.

Families gather together to reflect upon the past year, to stuff their faces with special treats and watch football.

I dread Thanksgiving.

It hasn’t always been this way.

I used to love the holidays and everything they represented. This was before my parents and Aunt passed away.

The holidays were split between Aunt Elaine’s and our house. Aunt Elaine hosted Thanksgiving, while my Mom would host Christmas.

Aunt Elaine, being single and not used to preparing large meals on a regular basis, would plan the meal several weeks in advance. It didn’t matter that it was the same menu every year. A lovely turkey, sage dressing, California blend vegetables, candied yams, mash potatoes and gravy, dinner rolls, a condiment tray, pecan and pumpkin pies, and lime flavored Jello with diced celery…

Aunt Elaine went to so much trouble to make up the Jello dish, methodically dicing the celery into pieces of equal sizes… It was impossible to resist taking a helping when she passed the serving bowl to you and looked at you with her pleading eyes.

Being Catholic didn’t help. Resistance was futile.

There are two things here that I never understood. The first was why anyone in their right mind would ruin Jello by adding celery to it… and secondly, why anyone would use LIME Jello in the first place?

I have NEVER liked Lime Jello. Or Lime anything for that matter.

Maybe it’s something that comes with age.

All I know is that I had to eat the heaping spoonful that ended up on my plate year after year.

The dollop of mayonnaise that she insisted ‘top’ the florescent green pile on my plate did NOT help.

And yet, today, well over a decade after that last meal at Aunt Elaine’s I distinctly remember the celery Jello… and I miss it.

After Mom passed away, the idea of gathering to ‘celebrate’ seemed foreign. The first Thanksgiving was just a little over a month after her death. Dad was a bitter widower – forsaken by a God who took the love of his life – and, whether intentional or not, the pall that fell over that Thanksgiving was unbearable. Aunt Elaine didn’t offer to have Thanksgiving again. I don’t blame her.

The next couple of Thanksgivings were spent at Denny’s…

Bless the fine men and women who worked there – they did their best to decorate the place to be cheery and welcoming – and the turkey dinner wasn’t too bad, either – but there is something sad (pathetic, really) about spending a family-oriented holiday in a restaurant with what could be only described as other rejected souls.

Today, while I am thankful for those things that I have in my life, the holidays serve to remind me of the things that I no longer have in my life. And it is that huge void that I dread.