Friday, December 30, 2005

My name is DiVa, and I am a shop-a-holic

I have a confession to make. In between completing make-up work I have been doing online shopping. Can I help it that everyone and their mother is having semi-annual sales? I think not. Besides, I have found some incredible bargains, and I have a little money. Soon I will have no more money and then there will be no more shopping, so there! I must say, I did find a lot of good bargains. Especially at the retail stores with a surplus of after Christmas gift sales. Alright, I gotta get back to work...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Tabula Rasa

Happy New Year! New Year is one of my favorite holidays. It is a clean slate. You get a chance to start all over, from scratch. The thought of that is just AWESOME. So I thought that I would share some of my Divalicious New Years Resolutions.

Here we go!

DiVa's Top Five New Year's Resolutions

1. Lose weight and get in better physical condition.
The DiVa is serious this time. I have got to lose this weight so that I won't suffer from the sequelae of obesity. I have this condition that I call residual ten. Around the holidays, I gain 5-10 pounds. I may lose 5, I may not. Each year that residual ten adds from year to year and before you know it, whammo you weight an obscene amount of weight. And then on top of that I have weight from my babies etc. For a moment I resigned myself to being fat. Why not, I come from a long line of fat people. But then I can break this cycle and set a better example for my little girl. Once I make this a habit, it will be fine. I just know it. And besides, one day I will have to do this with my patients at some point. I am going to take fat pictures so that I can show them the proof that perserverance pays.

2. Develop a sense of spirituality.
I am not saying that I want to become overly spiritual, I just think that I am approaching an age in my life where I want to identify with my higher power. I believe in God, but I don't want to feel pressured into joining any particular religious sect or denomination. Maybe I will learn Tai Chi or start meditating. I like the idea of yoga and quiet contemplation. I think maybe I will borrow concepts from other religions and incorporate them into my life.

3. Be a better mother
I won't say that I am a bad mother, but I would like to be more focused on my children's well being. I feel like I am always making up for things that I am not able to do. I let them eat a lot of fast food and junk because school is so demanding that I have to make quick meals that aren't always very healthy. For a while my children lived off of Ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We eat off of paper plates all the time because I don't have time to wash dishes. The laundry is still very high and the house is a mess. I can do better than that and I know it. I just don't always have the energy and initiative.

Their lives need more structure. They need me to sit down and teach them basic life skills. Once I am finish this undergraduate program, I will be able to devote more time. I have been promised that my Masters program won't be as demanding as my undergraduate because it is designed to cater to the non-traditional student. I suppose we'll have to see about that.


4. Become more involved in my community.
Recently, there has been a changing of the guard so to speak. My mother's generation of children have moved into my grandmother's slot, and I am moving into my mother's generational slot. The children of today need adult leaders. There are very few girl scout troops in this area, so I thought that I might do that, when I have a lighter schedule. If I decide to return to my family's church, I was thinking that perhaps I would help out with the youth program. I would also like to volunteer for the AIDS taskforce and health promotion for the prevention of obesity in children. I have always been interested in chemical dependency, so perhaps I will try to find a way to volunteer in that discipline.

5. Develop confidence. Focus on the things that are really important.
I have this tendency to sweat the small stuff. I hope that this will be a year that I can put that all behind me and look forward to a bright future as a nurse. I will be able to take care of my family and experience a financial freedom that I haven't had in a long time as a single mom. I can't wait! I have come a long way, and this is the beginning of something really good.

So, what are your top five New Year's Resolutions?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bah Humbug!

X-mas is in 8 days and I don't have the spirit yet. I feel like a Scrooge. I have yet to put up a tree. My son is going to fly to the Midwest for the first time to visit my ex-husband's family. So it is just me, my husband-to-be and my daughter. My Mom is spending the holiday with my sister and brother in the South. My father doesn't really do X-mas. My husband-to-be has the flu. And my daughter doesn't believe in Santa anymore. Sigh...

I have so much work to do for school this month. At the moment I had to take an incomplete in all of my classes because I had some issues to deal with. What this translates to is me writing almost 10 papers in the next month. You gotta love it. I am lacking motivation because I feel overwhelmed with work. I have to do really well on all of my work coming due because I can't get anything less than an "A" in any class for the next two semesters if I want to graduate with honors in May. The pressure is on!

So why is graduating with honors so important to me? I feel like I have something to prove with myself. I have always been a pretty good student, up until probably the 9th grade when I discovered boys. And then of course, I was working on Erickson's developmental tasks (ego identity vs role confusion and then intimacy vs isolation) and I got stuck. My high school GPA is embarrassing! I was performing beneath my potential. This is my big opportunity to prove to myself that I can be exceptional.

So if this is so important to me, why am I wasting time playing on the Internet? This is part of my self defeating behavior, (How silly of me!). And besides, I think I work better under pressure. And furthermore, I am sharing everything about my experiences in school. That includes me being a slacker too. Alright, I'll make a deal with myself. From this moment on, I am going to work on one paper a day from now until next year. I will make time to come and play on the computer once a week. And in between time, I am going to try and wrangle up some X-mas spirit.

-DiVa, seriously getting her crap in order...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Never Again...

I have had it with my cousins. This is the last time I am going over there, I promise. I have been taking a break from going over there lately because they have been behaving particularly bizarre and I thought that maybe this was a good time to check in and see how they were doing. My terminally ill cousin called me and lately we have been talking about doing a community health project. I was kind of excited because this is a huge opportunity to put to use all the cool things that I have learned in nursing school. And since he has had his terminal illness, it was the first time that I heard him sound hopeful about something. So I decided to buy a frozen dinner and go over to visit him so we could discuss his plans.

I forgot that I kind have been dodging his sister lately. She is constantly nickel and diming me(to support her habit)for miscellaneous things. At first I obliged her because ahe has a school age daughter that lives in the house and she seems to enjoy the company of me and my daughter, and I can't stand the thought of a child doing without. But I realize now that she is taking advantage. This cannot continue because I have responsibilities of my own. Plus when she is high, she is just impossible to deal with. She is bouncing off the walls, she has drastic mood swings and sometimes it is just downright scary (throwing stuff, cussing, irratic behavior, paranoia). Even her daughter is scared. I don't take my kids over there anymore. As of late, I have noticed that her kid hadn't been there either.

So anyway, I go over and she has taken on an alternate personality that she calls "Melinda" and this person is interrogating and badgering the hell out of me. I feel like I have to defend every comment out of my mouth. It is crazy. And of course my male cousin who has cancer has a female persona that we will call "Lodejia". "Lodejia" was dressed completely as a female today. She is very tall and statuesque. She wears a wig cut into a angular bob. All things considered, "Lodejia" is in a better mood than I have ever seen her male personality. Unfortunately, "Lodejia" and I couldn't talk for long because "Melinda" was on a tangent. Instead of just saying that she feels hurt that I didn't invite her to Walmart, she tries to harass me. For most of the night I ignored her and drank wine and talked with "Lodejia". I watched "Lodejia" eat and we played a quick card game. The she decided that she wanted to rest a while, so Lodejia invited me upstairs to her room.

Out of nowhere, here comes "Melinda". She slaps my arm and drags me down the stairs. We go into the bathroom and she starts pulling my hair. All the while I am trying to fight her off and ask her why she is trying to fight me. I start screaming for "Lodejia" and he doesn't answer or come to my assistance. So then, "Melinda's" boyfriend comes down the stairs and blasts into the bathroom door. He starts to pull "Melinda" out of the bathroom. She tells me to tell him to leave the bathroom and I do because she seemed as if she calmed down. He said if I leave you in the bathroom with her, she is going to kill you. The way that he looked in my eyes told me that he was dead serious. So they start to struggle. He doesn't leave until she moves such that I can get away. As soon as she lets me free, I go upstairs to get my glasses and my coat, But before I leave I ask "Lodejia" why she invited me to come over. He tells me that he doesn't need me. Not my company, not my food or anything. My cousin goes on to say that what happened in the bathroom happened because I wanted it to happen and that if I didn't I would have tried to kill her before she tried to kill me. I can't understand why anyone has to kill anyone.

I love these people so much. When we were kids, my family wouldn't let us go to visit and I never understood why. I do now! I was hoping to try and develop a relationship with them because no one else in the family helps them. Everybody needs somebody. As I was leaving, I suppose that "Melinda" had an attack of conscious because she says, "I am sorry, I'm a drug addict ya know..." Never again. They will have to starve. I wanna live!

-DiVa, thinking that maybe psych nursing is out...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Yo necesito a practicar mi espanol

El otro día, fui a la biblioteca ayudar mi hijo con una prueba para su clase. Tiene un amigo que tiene padres que hablan español solamente. Cuando yo llame la madre del amigo de mi hijo, me olvide como hablar español. Que lastima. Yo prometí que cuando yo regresar a los estados unidos, yo seré continuar hablar español. Pero, no ...es más fácil hablar ingles con mi familia, y mis hijos y las demás.

Mi viaje, echo de menos. La gente, las vistas, la comida, los ejercicios...si los ejercicios tambien! Soy supuesto estar trabajando en cosas para escuela, pero estoy floja! No quiero trabajar. quiero dormir, y mirar el televisor algo pero trabajar. yo necesito motivacíon. Como dinero.

Siempre,
DiVa

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Newsflash: DiVa Buries the Proverbial Hatchet

Do you ever feel sometimes that you block your own happiness by carrying a grudge? I know I do, but when people really hurt your feelings it seems like the end of the world. Especially when you tried to hold the person(s) that hurt you in very high regard. And as a non-traditional student, I thought that more times than not, the people that I go to school with understand me better than anyone in my close personal relationships, family, friends, etc… We experience a lot of the same stressors, academically speaking.(Not always true, DiVa. You have a life of experiences, you have children. They are not like you at all.) I have been recently pondering the concept that, I take things too seriously and often times blow things WAY out of proportion. As of late, I have been trying to stand back and wait, before I get totally pissed off. I am not sure how this is working but you know I will keep you posted.

Now that I am approaching the end of this leg of my educational journey, I look back over my experiences to see if there has been any personal growth. I promised myself when I decided to go back to school that I would try to end the experience as a totally different person than I was when I started. I believe that I have made a lot of positive changes, and I have learned many things about myself and dealing with people in general. I always thought that people, (as a general rule), should be treated the way that you should want to be treated, but I think that a better concept is just to do you best. Be willing to acknowledge that you are not perfect, and that neither are other people. That way it gives you a bit more margin for error. And when you are wrong, don’t be afraid to admit it.

In burying my hatchet, I kind of feel like a fool because you should never give a person a second chance to make you feel like an idiot. But moving forward in relationships, I can forgive, but I can’t forget. And in my mind, I set what I call invisible limitations. That way I sort of protect myself. I have decided to keep my personal opinions about people or situations to myself, even if someone else feels the same way I do. It helps to keep shit down. I have been working on my “social smile”. When I say that I mean, giving the impression that everything is GREAT even if I feel like the roof is caving in. And when people ask for the truth, I will give it to them one time and one time only. If they act like they can’t handle it, I will give them the abbreviated version of my truth with a positive spin on the end of it. I have found that this works a lot better.

I have to remind myself on a daily basis, Stay focused. You are not here to be anyone's friend. You are going to be a great nurse. The kids are well, your grades are fine and almost everyone in your life is in good health. You are not CRAZY! It's almost over...

DiVa, the Drama Queen

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Hope for tomorrow...

Okay, last night I was talking to my fiance about a boy. We'll call him Oscar. Oscar is roughly about 10-11 years old. I met him when I was a homeroom parent for my son's class about 3 years ago.

Last year I was helping out in the classroom, and I was helping the teacher get the classroom cleaned up after a project. I was standing with a balled up piece of paper, looking around for a trash can. I never said anything, this kid Oscar went and found a trash can and brought it to me. I thought that it was the most amazing thing ever. My fiance called me crazy because I always reference this situation when I talk about people being considerate of another person's feelings or needs. Why is this so profound?

I think that it can take people years, if not a lifetime to be that in tune with another persons needs and this kid has already got it. I can't help but think of this on a global level. Just imagine what the world would be like if everyone was like Oscar? Would there be such a thing as poverty? If the president had the ability to look at a community, assess the needs and meet them, Kanye would never have made the comments about Katrina that he needed to make. If the whole world had the ability to anticipate the needs of Africa, there wouldn't be the tremendous problems with poverty and the AIDS epidemic. Just imagine if our world leaders were like Oscar?

One might say, why are you so excited over this one isolated incident where a child brought you a garbage can? This is not just an isolated incident. Oscar is always very considerate, polite and charismatic. He is a social butterfly, not only with the kids but the adults as well. And when I see a child be so well adjusted, it gives me a sense of hope. Because the kids of today, are the leaders of tomorrow.

I just thought I'd stop off and share one of my big interesting conversations. Oh, I have a brother who left for the armed forces this weekend. Our family is all tripped out right now because we are worried that he will be sent to Iraq. He doesn't believe that he will be going because his recruiter told him that he has a 20-80 percent chance of not going. But I would feel a lot better if they told him that in writing.

I am working on a paper. I think it won't be too hard, but the problem is getting motivated. Sigh...

DiVa