Sunday, September 29, 2013

Online journaling, thanks for listening

The other question everyone wants to know is, How are you holding up?

All I can say is I am feeling a wide range of emotions right now. Most of the time I don't feel like I am feeling anything. I'm still kind of numb or in shock. It doesn't seem real, but when I realize it is I still feel sad.

Mostly, I am in mourning for my rings. Unless they somehow recover our property (I am less than hopeful), I know I will never find one like it again. And because of our lack of supplemental insurance, we wont get enough money to go out and find a comparable one. I'm not too excited to get a replacement one as it is (I want MY ring) but having to cough up the thousands of dollars to get a second place one doesn't make me feel any better about it. It will probably be a long time before we can even justify replacing it. The missing watches and even costume jewelry that wont be replaced because they fall in this "jewelry category" just makes it that much more unpalatable.

I am also feeling frustrated and stressed. There is a lot of stuff to sort through. Messes that they made. Canceling credit cards. Re-issuing my drivers license (another hour of my life spent at the DMV!), making a comprehensive and very thorough list of missing items including documentation like receipts, pictures. Trying to plan a trip we take soon without credit cards. Not having a computer (borrowing one for a few more days, luckily). Having to get the door secured (it's screwed shut now) and eventually fixed.

And annoyed. The little things are getting to me. I think this is a glimpse to my psyche and how much it really is effecting me. I feel super annoyed they took my pillowcase. Now that sheet set will never be complete. What will I do with one unmatching pillowcase? Dealing with the insurance company so far has not been as easy or pleasant as I had hoped.

I also feel a little guilty. I feel bad for feeling bad. Afterall, it's just stuff, right? I keep telling myself that and I give myself a hard time for letting it get to me. But if someone else tells me the same line I feel annoyed, "What an insensitive thing to say!"

I feel sick. I have been nauseated most of this week. Not sure if it is related. I've had a poor appetite and slipped out of my healthy eating kick.

I feel angry. We have been trying so hard to budget and keep track of our money. We have been trying to maximize our student loan payments and to be frugal. I should be grateful we have been shielded from a financial crises because of how careful we have been, but I am angry this is going to set us back. Instead of paying extra each month on our loans, I have cancelled these payments and we will be setting that money towards our deductible and replacing items and fixing our house to make it more secure.

I don't feel scared and vulnerable. Right now. I have too many other things going on to have felt this much. But I notice I jump when people knock or I hear loud noises. I think the anxiety will come. And I find myself wondering if they will come back.

And I am feeling grateful. I think it is normal to have times in life when you feel kind of alone. I know I have had a lot of friends move away. I often feel like I don't know many people any more. I can't believe how kind and supportive everyone has been. I was able to take an afternoon off work to get settled because the people at work were really helpful and understanding. We have had friends drop by to see how we are doing, cupcakes and homemade pies dropped off, offers for places to stay, a cleaning crew that picked up not only the messes made by the burglars but the messes made by me, meals brought, and two separate friends who brought over jewelry they picked out for me.

And that makes this so much better!


So, everyone wants to know, what did they get?

I am currently working on the insurance claim where we have to list out each item. The list so far is over 50 items. It is hard to believe they took that many things but somehow it lists out that way.

The biggest loss by far was our wedding rings. Since we both worked in the OR that day we left our rings home for "safe keeping." Not only were these the most expensive items taken, but they were obviously of the most sentimental value. Unfortunately due to an oversight in our insurance, we did not have the extra jewelry coverage and so we will not even receive enough compensation back to cover the engagement ring let alone the other two wedding bands, watches, and necklaces, earrings, etc. I have accumulate over time. Things like my high school class ring and an antique necklace from grandma, a set of pearls, and gold stud earrings. They also stole every piece of costume jewelry that I own(ed) which would cost a lot to replace now.

They also took mostly electronics. Things like our blue ray player and ipods. And computers. And Abe's pillowcase (I am sure to carry my jewelry in). Which makes me mad because now my bedding set doesn't match! They took my wallet including my ID and my credit cards. They looked through the bathroom (for drugs?) but didn't seem to find anything there.

They took almost everything that was worth anything.

But luckily, they missed some big things. Our TV as I said had been moved. I am sure they had every intention of taking it but got spooked. There were a few things in plain site they didn't grab and a few things that were in the next drawer over they didn't dump out, etc. I don't really want to make a list of everything that was taken or that is left to advertise for round two but I can say someone coming back for more wouldn't do very well.

I am grateful they didn't get everything. And I am grateful despite the messes they made, they didn't do any other vandalism or trashing of our place beyond the door. They could have been much more mean spirited than they were.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


When I arrived home on Tuesday September 24 I was in a rush. I parked my bike in the garage and ran up to the side door (the one facing a busy street). It was about 5:15pm and I was supposed to meet my mother-in-law at 5:30 to run a few errands. I opened the screen to notice the door was partially open.

I was surprised.

I remember closing the door tight when I left about 6:30 that morning for work. The door is old and sometimes the latch doesn't catch so I am usually pretty careful about making sure it really is locked when I leave. I remember vividly checking that morning.

But, maybe something happened? I contemplated not going in and calling the police but figured my husband probably just came home early.

I was leery enough to call inside, "Anyone there?" before I made my entrance. I didn't hear my husband's response but I figured maybe he just didn't hear me.

I walked in and tried to close the door. It didn't want to shut. This got me nervous and wondering...but again, its an old house. I felt a little leery and could hear a beeping nose as I went up the stairs into the kitchen area. I could see both doors on our fridge cracked open.

"I really don't think I left the fridge open, too!"

I closed the fridge and turned around. I noticed our flat screen TV was on the floor of our study instead of on the dresser in our bedroom like it should be. I turned to see our flashlight on and sitting on our coffee table. I called to Abe, and could see in the distance our bedroom with things not quite looking right. I was thinking, "Is he home early, spring cleaning or something?"(Which would not be characteristic of him on either point).

I turned behind me and suddenly noticed the drawers and cupboards to the kitchen and our entertainment system were open/dumped and things were strewn around. I felt a sinking feeling as I started realizing and SEEING the signs of my initial thought before I walked in that cracked door.

I ran into my room as I knew then and there that the wedding band I had removed that day before work and my engagement ring would be gone. This was confirmed when I saw dresser empty of every jewelry box, earring, and necklace and the emptied drawers, clothes, papers strewn around the floor and bed.

At that moment, I turned toward the living room to notice more drawers open, clothes thrown around the room, and the front door and screen swinging wide open. Just then, a young woman walked up to the door and knocked.

Still in shock, I remember thinking...maybe she is here to tell me that there were some people doing work at my house today, or maybe she saw someone running away?

But instead she said, "Hi, I am ..... and I am running for city council."

I told her I was very sorry, I didn't think this was a good time as I thought I had (turn on the sobs) been robbed. I clearly was unintelligible at this point so after another explanation she told me, "I think you should come out of the house."

"I think I should, too."

So we spent the next few minutes trying to call the local township police department. Should we call 911? Was this an emergency? I had a really hard time finding the numbers in my phone which I had programmed before under "city" police but searching for police didn't take me there.

And then I waited, crying on the grass. I called my MIL who was there within minutes. I didn't call Abe because I didn't want him to stress while at work (and I honestly wasn't really trusting myself to tell him because it just didn't seem real) but he called me within minutes and got the whole sob story. He was able to rush home from work.

And we continued to wait for the police. I called a second time and was told they were not "on-duty" but were only "on-call" that day. So much for living in our neighborhood with it's own police station (we live in a very small "town" inside of the larger area with our own police station which is notorious for horrible speed traps and tickets for speeds of 26 mph) that felt "so safe."

What a way to start the week!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Up to date

Sometimes I blog to be social. Sometimes I blog to share my (usually strong) opinions. Sometimes I blog to dispute something. Sometimes I brag, self deprecate, or tell a funny story.

And sometimes I just blog.
For the sake of blogging.

Today is one of those days. I feel I haven't had a lot to share over the past few weeks (hence my "silence") but I feel it is time. Time to check in even though I don't have anything particularly interesting or life shattering to share.

I think sometimes I shouldn't do posts like this. Why do I think I am so important that you want to hear my random chatterings? But, I find I tend to like similar posts from others. Even just the "saying hi" posts. So, for the sake of "doing unto others" we will see where this goes.

Life sure passes by quickly! Abe is about to finish his first (and most challenging) rotation of his second year, the Head and Neck cancer team. He remains very busy. I have pretty much stopped complaining about my schedule. He usually leaves about 5:00-5:30 am and is gone until at least 6:30 pm or much later. He works at least a partial day almost every weekend. He studies a lot and does "homework" type study questions every week. He comes home and writes notes for hours on patients. We often stay up too late just to have a little more time together.

My life has been great so far as a fourth year resident. I am continuing on for one more month come October of not being on-call. I usually work from about 6:30 am -5:30 pm and have had weekends off. Perhaps it is the "free time" I have because I have really been digging in on some personal development.

I have been making some good progress in budgeting, exercise, and healthy eating. I am also striving to be a better housekeeper, but with less success. I know as I have months of a crazier schedule I will fall short on these areas again, but I am hoping to set a good foundation for myself now when I feel I have a little more leeway. As always, studying is something I need to be doing much much more of as well.

So what's next?

Abe will be joining me for an upcoming Oral Surgery conference. Not only will my department cover some of our travel costs, but I won a scholarship to help pay for the trip as well. I am really looking forward to some vacation time together as well as the conference itself.

Planning for next year. Real life kind of scares me. I'm not super anxious to be done with residency and "out there" in the "real world." When I am there I will be glad but I'm just trying to soak it all in in the meantime. But it is kind of weird and exciting to be seeing my hard work will literally be paying off in a few short months...9. Before we know it, I will be birthing my career as a real Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon!

And of course, the ever struggle of studying, housekeeping, exercising, and husband-tending (my turn now that he is the busy one). And getting used to be on-call again.

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Shiny happy people"

At church we talked about trying not to compare ourselves or compete with others. This got me thinking about my blog and my use of social media.
I'm so popular I have my own fan club

I'm not surprised to see studies in the news lately about things like Facebook use leading to lower levels of happiness and satisfaction in life. I find that while I gain increased feelings of connection, friendship, and even self discovery through my blog, facebook, instagram, and pinterest, it does sometimes stir up feelings of jealousy, discouragement, or discontent.

Us at our shiniest and happiest, holding hands probably, too
It can be hard to see all of the "shiny happy people holding hands" (to quote R.E.M.) and not feel a bit like my life can be kind of bleak. And yet, before logging in I often feel happy and content.

We go on amazing vacations ALL the time!
Luckily most of my friends don't take pictures of the poopy diapers they have to change (yuck). And most of us aren't documenting every late night up without sleep with a crying baby, long hours at work, moments of loneliness or frustration, poor test scores, or family fights. We want to remember (or be remembered by) the happy moments--the vacations, the good hair days, the parties with friends, the life successes like a job well done on a test or even in cleaning out a closet.

But that is easy to forget when perusing online. I've tried to make my blog a pretty honest place. A place where I can remind myself to worry less about the image I portray to others and more about what really matters (a lesson in overcoming pride, really). A place where hopefully you can relate as other non-perfect but happy beings.
I'm so crafty I sew ALL the time (except when I'm on vacation, of course!)

I'm so successful and sometimes wear a suit
I was told that a lot of my recent posts seem sad or like I am lacking in confidence. That is not the message or image I am trying to share. My hope is that you will see a strong and confident woman who like most of the women I know continues to have struggles, doubts, and insecurities that she is facing just like you. Someone who despite successful days at work doing important things still feels bad sometimes when there are dishes in the sink, feels lonely at times, or has moments of body image insecurities. I am hoping I'm not the only one -- not that I want you to feel insecure or guilty or uncertain at times, too, but that you realize we are all in this together.

And we are awesome.

And just in case you think I'm kind of a Debbie Downer, I included some carefully selected Good Picture Monday pictures to hopefully make you feel a little insecure yourself as a way of over compensating for the past. Happy comparing! (Now, if only I had photoshop for maximum efficiency.)

I'm in such great shape! 

This picture was taken just the other day. Every day is like Christmas at our house! 

Thanks for indulging me (in letting me air my insecurities and my exaggerated captions today)!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Lessons from the high school popularity quest II

(This video was the inspiration for this post. WARNING: it does contain some pretty rough language which you may not appreciate. If you don't choose to watch, the idea is that women aren't good at accepting compliments.)

These same girls, despite doling out compliments left and right, couldn't seem to accept one themselves. "Oh no way! YOU, you are the best (insert compliment). I'm just the worst (insert previous compliment)."

Maybe growing up as an identical twin where comparisons were commonplace and yet the common reassurance from our parents that we were both great made it incredibly frustrating later in life to have compliments deflected back to me. I knew that my sister and I could BOTH be good students, piano players, friends. We could BOTH be pretty, smart, funny, kind. Especially the part about being pretty. Duh, if I could be pretty, so could she (as we looked "exactly alike."). 

Maybe that is why it seemed so dumb that every compliment I gave was sent back. "Oh no! You are the pretty one/smart one/nice one/funny one/etc one. I'm the ugly one/dumb one/mean one/boring/one/etc on." 

I found this incredibly frustrating. Why couldn't we both be awesome? How come I found myself arguing about this on an almost daily basis?

I think we live in a world where we are so used to scarcity that it is hard to remember it doesn't apply in everything we possess. Yes, if I have this dress, you clearly do not. If I eat this pizza, you don't get to eat it later. But some things we can both have like kindness, fulfilling careers, loving families, even the same friends, compassion, talent. And even if we have you have more kindness or I have more friends it shouldn't take away from what you have.

And secondly, I found it insulting. It doesn't make a lot of sense that in an attempt to flatter me I have actually been insulted in my good taste and judgement. When I sincerely say, "I really like your outfit. You have such a great fashion sense!" and you respond, "Whatever, this is the grossest thing ever. I have horrible taste in clothes," then it automatically means I must like gross things, too. There have been times I have been surprised to receive a compliment, don't get me wrong. In these instances, I find it tempting to argue. Instead, I may acknowledge this, "Wow, you really think I did an okay job on that talk? I was feeling pretty frazzled so thank you, that makes me feel a lot better!"I'm not perfect at this but I think it is important to give ourselves a break and our friends one too when they make an attempt to be nice.

Instead, let's give sincere compliments and acknowledge them by simply accepting them with two small words:

Thank you.

Even if you don't believe it, it's nice to trust that maybe someone else does.