Well, it's Tuesday night. Lots has happened since Sunday night. First off, I love my classes. All of my professors seem knowledgeable, witty, approachable, articulate, and happy to be teaching. I can't ask for much more than that. I hear from other Chem students that I got the best Chem professor. He is so hilarious in a dry, older man kinda way. I'm not sure the 19 yr olds really got all his humor. I saw them looking at each other. But I was thoroughly entertained. And I discovered I think I like statistics. I had no idea I would find that interesting!
Currently, I am eating peach pie, sewing a buttonhole, doing this blog, drinking tea, doing laundry and texting. My house is a mess, so clearly I'm not doing enough. And I should go to bed soon, because Wed. is my longest day. At least Reid doesn't have a Tenor sectional at 7:30am tomorrow. Remind me to go by the bank and get some cash, okay?
So my Toshiba mini-laptop came, and the extra memory came. First off, the extra RAM that Amazon recommended wasn't the right one. I should have double checked. So that has to go back. Today, Guy and I treked down to Fry's electronics, an awesome electronics superstore. Guy was full of interesting stories and discussions from his World History and Sociology classes. That was cool. I was able to get the right RAM, a DDR3 instead of DDR2. But when I pop it into my new laptop, the hard drive becomes inaccessible, so the thing becomes an expensive brick. It won't boot up Windows 7 at all. Nada. Chip installs very easily, and I know I am putting it in correctly. The BIOS screen recognizes it and says 4G of RAM, but WIN7 won't operate. So more investigation to do tomorrow. I spent a lot of time removing Norton and installing McAfee (look, I know every security system has its lovers and detractors. I know tech guys use other stuff. But I have never had a problem with McAfee and have never had my computer infected with anything no matter what gutter I trolled in..LaS). I can say that the screen resolution and picture quality are just stunning. Wow. Seriously.
And the keyboard is really easy to type on. I'll post pictures and let you know more about it as I play with it. It is a very pretty machine, and the Fry's guys say they love Toshibas.
The other thing I have to report on is the book I'm reading. I'm still inching my way through "Living Successfully With Screwed Up People." I just continue to be surprised what a good book this is. Why? Because it doesn't look like a good book just looking at the cover. It comes from some off-brand publisher and is by Elizabeth B. Brown (ISBN 9780800732882). The publisher, Revell, a division of Baker Publishing is an Evangelical Christian Publisher. But so far, this book is just good common sense and shows a real understanding of difficult situations. I personally can't afford to see a therapist. With all I've been through, it would be nice, but I just can't. I need to find myself and Reid a chiropractor as the priority and that will be expensive enough. (Reid carries 60 lb tenor drums and has to lean slightly forward to play properly. He needs the adjustments. believe me.) I have been to therapists before, though, and even have one I can call twice a week for short sessions I found through an unusual program. Often, a therapist's advice is to remove oneself from situations that might be termed unhealthy, co-dependent, or the like. I am not knocking that advice at all, but this author focuses on all the relationships you can't just leave or sever, or don't want to because maybe the person is family! I'm working so much , for example, on communicating with my college son. He lived on his own for five months, and he is different now, which makes the book really useful.
I'd like to quote some, because she says it much better than I could paraphrase.
She tells a story about her father in cancer treatment who decides not to quit the treatment, and ends up nearly comatose for a month, but keeps fighting. He wins that battle because he does not quit. But then she says that sometimes the only way to not quit, is to quit. Meaning what?? "My father was victorious in the fight for his life because he did not quit. He was victorious in his remaining four years because he did quit. He quit thinking about what he no longer had- good health. He quit comparing himself to what he had been- athletic and vigorous. He quit longing for what he wished were true- that he could do what he had done before and have what was gone. He quit thoughts that focused on the impossible. Sometimes quitting is the only way not to quit. (pg. 54-55)
On the next page, 56, she says in italics..."The single most dramatic difference between healthy and toxic relationships is the amount of freedom that exists for each person to express himself or herself as an individual." Not outside the relationship. Not off running around with "the boys" or "the girls." Not the right to impress my wants or opinions on my teenage sons. Not the right to tell my friends or sisters the "right" way to do things...just the ability to be oneself. It is like looking at my dream through the plate glass of a candy store window. I have a lot of relationships that I can't "quit." But what of my individuality am I giving up to maintain them? What of their individuality am I possibly somehow stepping on?
There are things that people in relationships, as individuals, cannot tolerate in a "partner." That can be parents, kids, bosses, friends, whatever. Those things have to be compromised upon, hopefully equally. But if you make a bargain, you have to "quit" longing for what you gave up. In this relationship "x", I have compromised on this topic "y", and I will quit dwelling on it!
So my real questions for myself, and this is an ongoing thought process...is, what am I willing to compromise on of my individuality, and what must I have as a compromise back toward my needs. When the bottom line becomes clear, and it will eventually- in all things- then it becomes plain whether a relationship is just difficult, or it is toxic. And that's a big part of my journey.