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The best thing to do with a long, hard, painful day?

(Note to self: Never do that much work in the containment hood after physical therapy!)

Sandwich it between a girl’s night out and a great day.

Wednesday night I went out with Cara for mexican food and drinks and some girl time, which we’d both been lacking lately, and it was just a lot of fun.

Then, today, I got good news from the chiropractor–when I first came to see her, she described the muscles in my neck as “solid”, meaning there was no suppleness or give, and she couldn’t feel my joints because of the tenseness. Today, she said there were tense areas, but the muscle is supple again–it gives, and she can feel joints. Thus, I’m getting better, at least in the sore back/neck area. Whee!

The other fun stuff is coffee with Sydney, who’s done with clinics early today, followed by basketball watching. Then I’m off to dog sit for the evening and weekend. This is the same dog we sat for last Thanksgiving, and I think it’ll be a fun, relaxing weekend.

Plus, it’s only the second full weekend John’s had off this year (and it’ll be at least May before he gets another one, given the April schedule), so we’re going to make the most of it. He has a job, so I’m not complaining too much, but geez, it’s nice to see my husband sometimes, you know?

The plan was to dive, but I think instead we’re just going to be lazy–do a bit of dog walking, a bit of gardening, a bit of house rearranging, and a bit of nothing. Okay, let’s be frank, he’ll be doing the gardening and house stuff, and I’ll be helping as best I can, but still.

All in all, a good set of days. It’s always good to balance the lows with the highs.

Hope your weekend is fabulous!

You just had to go and jinx it again, didn’t you?

Gah. No more references at all!

So, how about those Mets? No, Julie doesn’t like baseball. How about those Oscars?

Yesterday, a lot of self-negativity came up. It wasn’t out of nowhere–I’d just been suppressing it for awhile, and it eventually bubbled up. I’m a bit tired of it–the feelings of inadequacy, horribleness, despair. Like John told me last night when I was filling him on my day–I need to affirm to myself that these things aren’t true. I felt the need to write a “wah wah stupid me I suck” post, but instead, I think I’m going to write some affirmations to myself.

*****

I am not a horrible person.

I may not always be the nicest, friendliest, most caring, giving best person out there at all times, but I try. I know I can be selfish, but I work hard not to be. I know I can be overly sensitive–a bit of a cop-out at times, as we all can, and I need to get over myself when I’m doing so–but I try not to be. And when I am, I need to cope with it better–something I’m working on. It’s hard being the bigger person sometimes (especially when you’re only 5’2″!!), but I’m working on it. I’m guessing a lot of this will be a life-long battle, but I’m willing to commit. Or be committed trying.

I am not a bad friend.

Looking back over the years, I’m sure there are some out there who would dispute that, and I’ll admit that there have been times I haven’t been the best friend I could be, but we all have those times. And not every friendship is as firm or solid as others–but those are in the minority. And the people I call friends? I may not always do my best, but I’m there for them and they’re there for me. They care. And that’s what should count on these days I’m down on myself. Friends are those who accept you regardless of who you can be at times, because they recognize who you are most of the time. And all these people? They do that.

After work yesterday, we met up with James F and Cara for some drinks, then headed to dinner with Nate and Shelly and Ben and company. It was Nate’s birthday party–dinner, theoretically followed by ice skating in downtown San Jose. We ended up hanging out at the restaurant for far too long to be interested in skating, but I think the birthday boy ended up having a great evening anyway.

And as I sat there at dinner, I felt surrounded by people who cared about me. They may not know all the intimate details of my life, but they know me. They get me. They’re okay with who I am. Yes, we have a common interest that brought us all together, but they’ve all chosen to associate with me outside of that interest. The same can be said of many others. To these people, I’m worth being a friend to. It’s something I value in them, and I’ve got to learn to value it in myself, too.

I do not always screw everything up.

We all make mistakes. It’s what we do afterwards that counts. I can try to apologize. I can try to admit things and work on making them better. I can try to fix situations if I can. Sometimes I can’t, but I try. Sometimes I just make things worse because my apologies start out as such and deteriorate into bitch pretty fast. But I can always try again. And again if necessary.

And really, so many things have gone right in my life.

My mom and I have our ups and downs, but we value one another. And hey, she’s still around for me to tell her that. My dad and I may not be as close as some father-daughter combos, but we share a sense of humor and appreciation of similar things, like basketball, that makes me feel special. My sister and I get along with miles between us, but we can lean on one another when we need someone. My husband and I don’t always see eye-to-eye, but we listen and work at our relationship and we still laugh and love far more than we scream and cry. My friends can all be counted on to be there for me, and I for them. I found a fantastic group of people to work with when it comes to diving–we all work well as team together when we teach, and we have fun doing it. My real job is hard at times, but I enjoy it, plus graduation is on the calendar, as is a job prospect that I’m too excited to talk about–let’s just say it combines many interests of mine. I still could stand to lose some weight, especially the weight I’ve regained this past year, but I’m much healthier than I was several years ago, and I’m still working on it. My self-esteem, while it has it’s low days, is creeping ever higher thanks to those around me that let me know I’m okay as I am, no ifs, ands or buts.

So clearly I’m doing quite a bit right. You can’t win every game, but you can damn well try. And I think I’ve succeeded on the important things, wouldn’t you say?

And so…

*****

Dear Self,

An open affirmation letter:

You are a good person. Maybe not at every moment of every day, but overall, you try, and you are at heart a good person. It’s okay to have the low points, so long as they never win out over the take-the-high-road points. You care about people, and you work hard, and that’s what matters.

You are a good friend. Think of all the people over the years who you have valued, and who have valued you in return, starting from when you were three and went to daycare with the little brown-haired girl and the two boys–remember how you couldn’t pronounce your “r”s, so one of the boys was Wicky? Think of how many people you’re still in touch with from all the years. Think of how many people you have right now, right at this moment, to rely upon. They wouldn’t be there for you if you weren’t a good friend. It takes work, and sometimes juggling, and sometimes you drop a ball or two, but most of them bounce right back into the circle. People value your friendship: don’t belittle that. They wouldn’t be there for you if they didn’t believe in you.

You do the right thing. See above–that’s an awesome list of things in your life that, if not perfect, are pretty damn good. We all make mistakes. We all screw up on occasion. But you keep trying, you keep working at it, and you will keep succeeding. Life is like that–it (generally) rewards the good guys in the end. And you’re one of them–just look at all those rewards that you’ve racked up so far.

So repeat after me:

I am a good person.
I am a good friend.
I do the right thing.

Daily, now, you hear me?

It’s time to face these feelings of failure and put them squarely on a shelf somewhere in some dusty corner of the attic. Don’t ignore them–learn from them. Don’t rely on them–they aren’t really you. Face the future, and keep on going. There will be speed bumps and pot holes, but you’ll get to your destination in the end. Live your life happy, and make it worth living.

Love (and you are worth loving),
Self

The two highlights of my week so far right there.

Saturday was a mostly lazy day, with nothing much happening other than a lot of productive football watching. We gave up on the USC-Ohio St game at half-time and headed to James and Cara’s place for the night, where much grilling and Xboxing was done by all.

Sunday, we went diving, and it was easily one of the top 4 dive days I’ve ever had in Monterey. Flat water, partly sunny, no swell or surge, beautiful visibility. Best of all, we were helping Nate and Shelly with their “supervising certified divers”, the last requirement for their Divemaster candidacy. This means we’ve helped them go from Open Water divers and in the ocean for the first time ever all the way to professional divers. It’s a super cool feeling.

The diving itself was pretty awesome, too. We’d planned to head out to the Metridium Fields (think super large white anemones that look like bunches of cauliflowers), but as we kicked out, we realized we were about 20-30 feet from a mother and baby dolphin, who were splashing and playing and possibly fishing right beside us. There were a lot of schools of fishes, so that may be why they’re in the area, but they’ve been reported at Breakwater beach for about a month now. We just floated in the water for quite awhile, letting them swim around us. Then, instead of heading to the Metridiums, we dropped and headed in the direction of the dolphins, hoping to see them under water.

No such luck, but we still got to play with a friendly harbor seal, and saw a ton of fish and crabs, including one of the biggest ones I’ve ever seen at Breakwater. It looks like the marine protected area restrictions are working out–there’s a lot more life at Breakwater now then I’ve seen in the past. We swam in and around the kelp, enjoying the dappled light and just being underwater, for about 45 minutes.

Our second dive was out along the Breakwater wall. We swam freakishly far out before dropping, and ended up in the 30-40 foot depth range along the wall, where the visibility opened up to probably close to 50 feet, which was pretty amazing. We had another harbor seal come play, and also saw a ton of fish and crabs, lots of nudibranchs–Sea Lemons, Mimics, and San Diego Dorids. A lot of the nudibranchs were pretty big, as in the size of a sub sandwich. It was pretty cool. We saw what we thought might even be a crab eating a nudibranch. Or they were just getting up close and personal. John and I also found a 2.5-foot cabezon (lingcod maybe?). Those suckers are ugly, but damn tasty eating.

All in all, an awesome day, and Nate and Shelly are officially Divemasters–the lowest rank on the Professional totem pole, but easily the hardest rank to earn. This is what John and I are, although we’re working on Assistant Instructor. Good times.

We also learned, upon arriving home, that our white cat, Tubby McFatterson, can hold his bladder for at least a 24 hour period. Poor guy snuck into the bedroom, and then got locked in there while we were gone. This also means that it is definitely the gray cat, Baldy McSkinny (I’ll post pics soon), is the one pooping on the bed when he gets upset with us leaving him alone. Mystery solved.

Then, Monday, Bob arrived! My new computer is shiny and fast and wonderful and I love him. He’s all that I hoped he could be. And best of all, I can check email at work now (or, you know, blog a bit) without worrying about using one of the public computers. That said, it’s been a bit of a crazy week, with lots of stuff to do during the day, but also something diving related every damn night. I’ve headed south (or will head south) all 5 nights this week–twice for meetings, twice to take a class, and once to teach a class.

I only hope something else super good happens–good things come in threes, right? If I could pick, it’d be a successful visit to the reptile house at the SF Zoo on Sunday, but I’m not holding my breathe. We’ll see if the phobia therapy has paid off. Cross your fingers for me, eh?

It’s a good idea to make sure the restaurant you plan to meet at is actually open for dessert on Sundays.

At least this was discovered with enough time to fix the plans!

Dear Self,

You can go get a cup of coffee when you finish catching up on the month’s records that you’re working on. Only two more weeks to go! C’mon, you can do it!

Love,
Will Power

****

Dear Will Power,

You suck. Coffee now. Gruntgruntgrunt. Zzzzzzzz.

Love,
Self

Dear Self,

Remember a couple weeks ago when you were lucky enough to find parking on the first floor of the garage?

Remember, also, how, at the end of the day, you nonetheless climbed the stairs to the third floor?

Well, let’s not do that again today, okay?

Thanks in advance,
Me

P.S. When you do climb the stairs anyway, remember that it’s good exerciese!

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