family

The loser leaving work at 5pm

I normally start my work count down to 5pm roughly around noon.

I take my lunch  at 12:30pm so in my head, I am closer to that 5 o’clock in my head. Since I take an hour lunch, I get back by 1:30pm and, hey, that is just 3 hours and 30 minutes away from that wonderful 5 pm!!

Then I try to do some work, maybe be productive for about two more hours which gets me to 3:30 pm. Then the second count down to 5 o’clock starts. Any work that would require more than two hours gets pushed onto the next day. I probably get up and go to the bathroom and/or get some coffee. Then I do some more work, hoping for no last minute complications that would impede me from leaving at 5pm.

I don’t know how your workplace is, but where I work people are serious. 5pm means nothing to them. They don’t care if they don’t see their kids, spend more time with their spouses, no, work has to get done because there is not always another day.

So that means that I am usually the first one to get up at 5:00pm. I look around as business chatter continues as if in fact, it is not 5 o’clock in our very own office. I shut down my computer and I sneak out.

I sneak out like a plain traitor that has the audacity to leave work at 5pm! I try not to attract too much attention. I know most of these people will stay at least half hour/an hour late to finish up whatever they were doing. I feel like I am being watched, being judged- “Look at Leah leaving work exactly at 5pm! Who does she think she is?!” So I try to duck down in a way that will get me fastest to my car. I  feel their stares, they are piercing me with fierce judgement but I continue. As the proud leader of the 5pm rebellion, I see some other people follow behind me.

I get inside my car and drive away before my boss comes behind me, chasing me to finish something that can be done tomorrow- and once I am off the company parking lot, I feel like I am winning! I get to go home and see my family even if for the measly 2 hours. I may be a loser that doesn’t work hard and leaves at 5pm, but I am a winner in my family’s eyes!

How about you, readers? Do you also feel weird leaving work at 5pm on the dot or is your company more understanding when it comes to it? Do you feel the peer pressure as well? Leave comments below……and don’t forget to leave at 5pm, sharp!!

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Luckily, my Mom is on Facebook.

I know kids these days don’t know what Facebook is or they roll their eyes and say it is SO passé. But I still use it as it’s been a part of my life since 2007 – woah, 9 years!- and I’ve stuck with every layout change that they made, specially in the first five years before they kind of decided to stick with the timeline format.

Of course, the usage of my Facebook greatly changed throughout the years. I was much younger and more naive 9 years ago and therefore the posts were age appropriate. I have since, as might be expected, deleted quite a few but all in all my posts were/are alright.

Around 2010 (2011?), my Mom joined Facebook and as many others, I dreaded adding her to MY Facebook. Gosh, these are my private thoughts I share on the internet with my friends, not my MOM! What should I do? Add her or block her? After a week of listening to her whining that we are truly not friends if we are not Facebook friends I decided to add her.

My Facebook posts have changed since. I think twice about what I write or think twice about who am I arguing with about a certain hot issue (btw, never get into arguments on Facebook, they are a complete waste of time and pointless!).

I guess it is safe to say that since my Mom joined Facebook, I think twice about what I say or do because I do not want her to see her daughter act like an idiot or say something stupid. Not that I do that often, but it happens. It happens to all of us and we should all be happy we have our Moms as Facebook friends- internet is not a public diary and we don’t want them to find out every detail of our lives. Or do we?

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You don’t want to win the Powerball

$900M! $900M! My sister won’t stop talking about the Powerball lottery. It’s annoying. No matter how hard I try to tell her, winning a lottery is probably the worst thing that can happen to you. I drew a little chart for her, see below, to visualize the reasons as to why she/you don’t want to win the Powerball.

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Let’s say that you win! You are the lucky winner. You have two choices- either to tell or NOT to tell that you won the Powerball.

  1. TELL OTHERS- If you tell others about your winnings obviously you get harassed by people you know and strangers to give them money. I probably should add an arrow that leads directly to that point because regardless of if you keep or quit your job “to enjoy life”, you will still be harassed so much it would drive you crazy.
  2. DON’T TELL OTHERS- Ok, you want to keep it a secret. Yeah, you’re the big Powerball winner! The first problem now is whether or not you will quit your job. If you quit, you have to live a normal life, no crazy spending otherwise you will become suspicious. If you don’t quit, you still have to live your life like the rest of the mortals around you… otherwise, people get suspicious, notice you have money and the hassle begins!

So you see, folks, you don’t really want to win $900M. You just don’t. You can’t live like a normal civilian without being harassed all the time. And I’m sure even the excuse that Uncle Ben left you a bunch of money doesn’t work after a few years- and that just means that people know you have money and… again, they will harass you for it. Case closed.

What is home?

Many say home is tangible; it is an actual space one can walk through. It consists of four walls and unmatching furniture your parents put together throughout the years. It is the coo coo clock in the hallway that has long stopped working. It is the bedsheets from your childhood shoved away somewhere in the back of the closet. It is the familiar layout and the same annoying, never fixed patio screen door.

For some. For me, I feel like home is a moment in time. Home is many moments in time. Sometimes, if I am lucky, I get to vividly enjoy the “now” of a home because the moment goes away ever-so-quickly.

Home disappears when people in it disappear. When I walk through my parent’s house and I realize my Mother will never walk through those hallways again I feel absolutely no attachment to the objects scattered around the house. Home was not home because it had the familiar pots and pans my Dad loved to cook in. Home was home because it echoed the laughter of my Dad. When there was no one there that was left, home became an empty, tangible space.

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Note to self: Be grateful. Be more grateful.

I like to think I am a grateful person, but perhaps I am not as grateful for things as much as I would like to be. As Jack Dawson said: “I got air in my lungs, and a few blank sheets of paper” (still one of my favorite quotes from Titanic).

I am healthy, I have a job, I get to find time time to enjoy my hobbies, I have David by my side. I have my wacky family by my side (for the most part). I live in the best country on Earth (‘Merica!) and I have food on the table. Above all, I get to write stories. I should be so grateful. So darn grateful. But I am not. I constantly want more. I want to sell more books, lose weight, travel more, upgrade my kitchen (it is so tiny!) etc.

So today, I acknowledge my blessings and I will strive my best to be better at stopping and counting them more. I am lucky. So lucky. How grateful are you for what you have?

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Modern Hoarders

She was frantically pacing around the room. “I don’t know why you have to throw anything out! Don’t touch those books, someone gave them to me as a gift!” She looked livid. “Then why are they in the drawer?”

We’ve been looking for a battery charger all over the house for more than an hour, and still no sight of it. “This house has so much shit it in,” she grunted. “Finally!” I thought to myself. She was finally displeased with the piles of useless material items around the house. Maybe this is the opportunity to throw out some of it and clear out the dressers, the closets and the hallway.

Ten minutes into it, she got really mad. At me. For messing with her things, for trying to get rid of things. “You are ruining the order! You are making a mess! I can’t find anything anymore.” Her face was red from screaming at me and I haven’t seen her this upset in a while. I threw all the stuff back to where I found it and left.

I got home and Googled hoarders definition. I’ve seen the shows- Hoarders, buried alive! But my Mom’s place doesn’t look like that! She doesn’t have cockroaches laying around! She can still walk around the house without stepping on things. It did not match. She’s not a hoarder by definition. But what is she then? Why would a sane person get so upset over a pile of things she did not even know they were there?

I called David to discuss what I witnessed with him. His Mom is similar to my Mom- she has expired food in the fridge but she won’t throw it out. She still has the box from David’s first PC purchase. The blender box. Clothing from 1970’s. What is going on here? If they are not hoarders by definition but have separation anxiety, what are they?

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Santa Claus and our parent’s lies

I hear loud arguing between Anna and Tim. We were given a recess, but instead a horrible fight broke out and everyone stayed inside. As I came closer, I could hear what the arguing was about. Anna was determined: “I know what I saw. It was my Mom who put the gifts underneath the Christmas tree. Not Santa! That’s because Santa doesn’t exist!” My heart stopped. My belly jolted. “You’re lying,” Tim accused her. “No, I’m not!” she cried. I was in shock. My developing brain was struggling to comprehend what had just been said. How could Santa not be real? I’ve been writing him letters for years! He’s been bringing me gifts each year; with Rudolph leading the way to my house. Why would my parents tell me about Santa if he wasn’t real? Why would my parents lie to me?

To this day I am hurt by the lies my parents told me about Santa. Why does it matter, you ask? It matters because despite the joy it brought me, it also brought me horrible devastation. For a young kid like myself, who spent hours reading and imagining different worlds, the non-existence of Santa was like a slap in my face. I could not believe people I trusted put on a charade, a show for Christmas. They made me write letters… they made me put cookies down for him. They made me believe he was real.

I do not have children of my own just yet, but I still struggle whether or not I should lie to them about Santa too. It gets even more problematic if I tell them from the start that Santa does not exist. Then, other parents will complain that my children ruined Santa for their children.

I don’t know why this lie has to continue. I know children are happy to hear it, but when you realize your parents lied to you and that it was them the whole time…. well, it kind of shows that even those you trusted lied to you. So, on the flip side, is Santa actually supposed to be a life lesson? As in, do not count on those you trust because they are not trustworthy either?

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The optimal number of New Year’s resolutions

Let’s face it: a random date on a calendar won’t make you change your ways. I have had my share of New Year’s resolutions; from eating lean meats four times a week to losing weight, to walking 5000 steps a day, to getting a new hobby, to smiling more, knitting an OK sweater, go scuba diving in Australia, planning a candlelight dinner, oh, learn how to cook better etc.

But what I realized is that only a true cause or reason for why you want to change or do something different will change you. We are creatures of habit and old habits are hard to break. So if you want to change something (not do something anymore, or start doing something), then do it when you are inspired to do it and you mean it.

Happy New Year!

P.S: I have to ask- did you ever stick to a New Year’s resolution? What was the reason behind it?

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Merry Christmas! (Not happy Holidays)

America is getting too politically correct. Why is it so wrong to wish somebody a Merry Christmas? You are wishing something nice. Something positive. The last time I checked merry meant “cheerful and lively, characterized by festivity and enjoyment.”

I don’t get upset if somebody wishes me Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa. I am neither Jewish or Black, but I can always appreciate a good wish.

So Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you spend some quality time with your family. I almost have a 100 followers which makes me really happy. And, I sold ONE book since I published it on Amazon (and no, it wasn’t my Mother since somebody from the U.K. bought it….thank you reader!!)

In the spirit of happiness, you can get my book on Amazon for FREE only today! It’s a great read, specially for your teen or college kid. I would appreciate if you leave a critique on Amazon if you read it, good or bad, I would just like to hear everyone’s feedback.

OK, no more computer for a couple of days. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! ❤

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Only 2 questions 25+ yrs old women in a relationship get asked these days

It started when my relationship with David became “serious.” You know, he met my family, we moved in and he knew I don’t shave in the winter and was OK with that. Serious. So naturally, Sunday dinners with my family had to become a common place to harass David and I with relationship questions.

1.) So when are you getting married?

I think I heard this question more often than I heard Britney Spears’s “Hit me baby one more time” hit on the radio in 1999. Why do you care if we get married? Why should we get married? Are we even ready to be married? We didn’t have answers to these questions, and we didn’t think about marriage. We liked spending time together and that was enough.

A few years later, my “clock” started ticking- at least in the eyes of everybody around me. I certainly didn’t feel any need to have a child and yet everybody else wanted me to have one.

2.) When are you having kids?

I was probably as annoyed with this question as Bill Clinton was with the question “if he ever had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.” I mean, give it a rest. Am I a woman? Yes. Do I have a vagina? Yes. Can my vagina make babies? Yes. Do I have to make babies? NO! Just because nature gave me a vagina with the ability to use it, doesn’t mean I have to (use it). I don’t make stupid faces and sounds when I see children. Honestly, I find puppies to be much cuter. Fluffier. And less of a hassle. But it doesn’t mean I walk around asking people if they have adopted puppies yet.

Maybe I will get married one day, and maybe I will have kids. But can you please stop asking me these questions? Why don’t you ask me if I have finally decided to volunteer at a shelter? Helped with a singing recital in a home for the elderly? Perhaps if I have helped tutoring English at a local high school? Why are those not more important questions, I ask you?

P.S: Not baby related, but here’s my book on Amazon which tells the story of an American student doing a study abroad in France. Please check it out and thanks for reading my blog!

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