The Four Tendencies… and other reading interests

So, I’m about 100 pages into The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. I read The Happiness Project a few years ago and I enjoyed it, but hadn’t thought much about it until saw The Four Tendencies at a FedEx Office store. I picked it up, intrigued, since I have been feeling stuck again lately- wanting to do something different but not wanting a pay cut, missing home but knowing that’s not the best place to be (except on a vacation so I can gorge on Pizza, burritos, beef sandwiches, and my other Chicago food favorites).

I took The Four Tendencies quiz online, which said that I am an Obliger. From what I understand, there is variation within each tendency and a little overlap – you will have a main tendency but may have some of a neighboring tendency, too. The thing that is interesting to me is that I pegged two family members almost immediately but I am still trying to pinpoint a few others.

Psychology stuff is interesting to me, so this book is right up my alley. I am hoping it will help me figure myself out and will help better deal with family and co-workers. I like the book so far and I am trying to pace myself to fully absorb the information, rather that devouring the book as I often do with fiction books that I enjoy. Other books on my radar include: Stuck by Anneli Rufus, The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell, and Positively Unstoppable by Diamond Dallas Page. I have been doing DDP Yoga for four and a half months with my husband, and we both really like it and benefit from it. Husband read the book and recommended it. What books do you recommend?

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Central Texas… where do I begin? Part I

We have now lived in Central Texas for 5 1/2 years. In the beginning, everything was new to Husband and I. We left Chicago, Illinois for lots of reasons, mainly though, to get space from complicated families and to start a new chapter of our lives. Husband had just finished his Associate’s Degree, and I was laid off after seven years at my job. We moved here after having visited Austin for 5 days in 2009 and me spending two weeks while Husband spent six weeks in Austin in 2010. To clarify, we now live in Williamson County rather than Austin, though  I work in Austin and the difference now is negligible. This place is not what we though it would be, as the shine has worn off.

As much as I like the Central Texas sunny days and winters with little to no snow, I have a long list of things I am iffy about and even really dislike. Bare with me while I rant a little.

Is it too much to ask for people to exist without being passive aggressive? If you’re going to do something and be a jerk about, just own it rather than waving at me about it, like that erases your actions! Maybe Chicagoans and other Northern varieties of people are rude, but at least I know what to do with that. Enough with the fake friendliness! Send it back to California, or wherever it came from. The only good thing about the fake friendliness is that, if you can spot, it will alert you to the fact that this person is probably going to trick you, do a bad job on whatever work you are paying them for, or that you should just avoid them at all costs. I saw this after Husband I dealt with a leasing agent, a real estate agent, a painter, a music producer, a chiropractor, a tile salesperson, and some many others I can’t keep track of. The chiropractor did untold damage to Husband’s back, and good luck finding a way to sue her and actually get paid. The painter and his crew painted our house worse than a group of 12 year olds with no experience. Husband ended up hiring someone to re-texture our walls so he could repaint everything, which costs him double and saved us no time, which is why we hired a painting company to begin with! Oh, and the attorney we hire to get some of our deposit back, couldn’t even get the job done.

***Stay tuned more posts in the coming weeks***

 

Family…

Anytime a holiday comes around I have mixed emotions about it, whether it’s Christmas, Mother’s Day, or any other family-oriented holiday.  Yesterday, Father’s Day, was no different. My father and I had not spoken in a few weeks. He had taken a trip to see distance cousins on his side of the family, so I gave him a few days to get resettled into his routine and called him for Father’s Day.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

After a few messages back and forth to find a good time to call, I finally called around dinner time. I got to hear about his trip to Washington state for the his cousin’s wife’s memorial and about his visits with other family members. I am glad to hear that his trip went well and that he enjoyed himself.  However, I am not glad that the conversation had to include digs about my mother’s side of the family and (implied) comparisons about the successful of other people’s children. We are all different people, and what makes me happy may not make someone else happy. We can’t all be astrophysicists.

I know, this is a Father’s Day phone call, so it should not be about me. The same way many phone calls and text messages with him should not include complaints and derogatory language about my mother/his wife.  This discourages me from communicating  as frequently as others communicate with their fathers. The effort to keep in touch and to let him know that I care is sometimes a less than rewarding experience, and can be a rather stressful and/or hurtful experience. The same goes for my mother, too, except that there are a few newsbytes or lighthearted pop culture references in between the concerns about my father

Overall, it was a successful phone call, with my father enjoying a chance to talk about his dog rescue friends and his travels, and appreciating that I honored him on Father’s Day.     I am glad that he is finally starting to take better care of his health.  Families are complicated…

Here comes the heat!

I love the warm weather and sunshine in Central Texas…. but 100 degrees Fahrenheit is more than a little warm, it’s downright HOT!!!

I don’t mind sweating either. What I have trouble with is the shocking adjustment from heat outside to frigid air conditioning inside everywhere I go.  Dress accordingly to avoid overheating bring a sweater for going to stores and restaurants and drink lots of water.

WELCOME TO SUMMER,

Going Home Part II

In just under four months, I am excited to say that I will be briefly returning to Chicago again, this time to watch the first session of the Laver Cup and to see the White Sox play the Cubs on the Southside.  What a surprise it was when Brother invited me to join him and his best buddy for some tennis and some baseball! 

The trip I took in March brought out a lot of feelings. I had, honestly, avoided going back to Chicago because of the conflicted relationship my parents have and because out of sight, out of mind is much easier than to admit feelings. I was pleasantly surprised to have any stretch of time during which my parents got along in my presence; sadly it was short-lived. Though most of the news focuses on the bad things about Chicago and I myself spent a good amount of time voicing my displeasure with the politics and policies of Chicago and of Illinois, it was tough to see all of the places I missed. Walking around downtown Chicago is awesome, with many great places to eat, things to do, and just seeing the buildings. I am truly grateful for the time I had to enjoy the city and to see my parents acting like people, instead of enemies. It was also great to see a dear friend, chatting with her for a few hours on my last day in Chicago.

I live in Central Texas for many reasons, though not for the food. Many people think that food in the greater Austin area is great, and I beg to differ. To each his own.  Also, there are some cool places and attractions in the Austin area, but Austin’s downtown is not on par with any of the major cities. You have to go to specific areas for shopping, movies, and other activities, not because it is a growing city, but rather this is the way it has evolved. It is my personal belief, that too many people in the  Austin area have a slacker mentality, lacking integrity and much urgency about anything. Obviously we have found enough to like about living in Central Texas that we have stayed for almost five years and bought a house, but one of the best trade-offs is the weather and not having to shovel snow as we did in Chicago.  We both prefer the sun and heat over snow and cold.

Anyhow, I look forward to not only seeing parents (we are all going to see tennis together), but my brother and his friend, and that we will get to enjoy our hometown together for the first time in five years.  It’ll be good!