Winner, Winner

While I was in class Saturday morning, I received a text informing me that I had won a door prize.  Ysabela had signed me up for everything while I was in class Friday.  I was excited because I had never won a prize at fire school.  On the first break we had, I went over to claim my prize.  Ysabela stayed at the hotel because I couldn’t wake her before Wes and I left for class, but I texted her to let her know I had won something.

This is my first prize ever at fire school

This is my first prize ever at fire school.

I was really worn out at the end of class Saturday afternoon.  While waiting for Wes to get out of class, I was chatting with a guy that I had seen at fire school a year or two ago when I saw a Mexican guy pushing a cart.  At this point, you may be asking how I knew the guy was Mexican.  I really can’t explain it other than to say I have radar that rarely fails me.

There were familiar looking things hanging off of the side of the cart, so I excused myself and rushed to catch the fellow.  When I say “rushed,” I really mean that I was moving with the speed of a turtle stampeding through molasses and peanut butter.  (Did I mention that I was worn out?)  There was still a bit of distance between us, but I yelled, “Oye!”  It’s the Spanish equivalent of “hey!”  Anyway, he turned, I moved a tad faster and asked, “Que tiene?”  (What do you have there?)  Fortunately for my daughter, he was selling chicharrones like vendors sell in Mexico.  I knew it!  I happily put my purchase into my (already heavy and full) tote and went back to a bench to wait for Wes.  When people saw them at the top of the tote bag, I got some really odd looks.  They could not figure out 1) what exactly they were seeing and 2) where I got them.

It was amazing to use my Spanish at fire school, and Ysabela was thrilled because I bought two bags of snacks for $3.  Wes finally appeared, and we started out of the parking lot.  I opened a bag of chicharrones so he could try them.  He liked them!  Imagine my surprise!  We couldn’t find that little Mexican guy in the parking lot, but we did see another fellow with a cart selling them on the road out of town.  I pointed him out to Wes, and Wes pulled the truck into a random lot rather quickly.  I yelled for the fellow to wait, and we jogged (kind of) across the street to buy some snacks.  This guy tried to charge Wes $1.75 each, but I haggled with him, and Wes bought four bags for $6.  Somehow Ysabela ended up with one of those bags today.

Chicharrones!

Chicharrones!

I was thrilled to have been able to buy the chicharrones for Ysabela since she spent her money on a shirt for me Friday.  I love that shirt, by the way.

Bela chose a great shirt for me.  :)

Bela chose a great shirt for me. 🙂

Tired!

Do you ever get to the point where you are tired of everything? I am there now. I’m thinking of possible solutions as I go. I am tired of eating the same food. I’ve got my eye on a couple of new recipes we might try soon. That will add some variety.

I’m tired of working all the time. That one is a bit trickier to fix. I love my jobs, though. The main problem is I’m tired of being tired when I go to work. To fix that, I need to put myself on a strict schedule. I know I’ll have to force myself to go to bed early enough! I’m not up all night, but it’s so easy to get distracted and stay up later than planned.

OK, done with whining…maybe I’ll take a nap!?

Energy Vampires

Are you feeling tired and rundown? Are you in good physical health? Do you “have it together” in your head? Job going well? If you are on a roll in your life, but there’s still “something” wearing you down, you may be the victim of an energy-sucking vampire.

A what? You read it correctly. An energy-sucking vampire. If you have ever been in contact with one of this not-so-rare breed, you know exactly what I mean. Maybe your friend comes to visit, stays a while, leaves, and you feel worn out by the time the visit is over. You close the door after him or her, lock it and sigh. You might even have a headache. You survived, but the price is high. This particular breed of human takes your energy like a vampire takes blood. You have my sympathy if you are a victim. You also will have some advice.

There’s a lock on the door for a reason. Use it, and don’t apologize. You have the right to be comfortable and free from intrusions in your own home. Your home is, after all, your castle. Pull up the drawbridge! (I am considering building a moat!)

Set limits on those who waste your time. It can be awkward, but sometimes you just have to say something. Don’t let anyone run over you, especially when it concerns how you spend your precious free time. Friendship should be a pleasure, not an expectation or a duty. It takes time to develop a real, solid friendship. If you’d rather not visit, just say so. Remember: the energy vampire keeps you from doing things you want to do. Be assertive.

Let me insert here that I am not known for my tact, but when it comes to protecting my free time after a hard day’s work, I can be ferocious. (Think: Mama bear. With a cub.) I do try to be nice, but nice isn’t always effective. I am not the kind of person who enjoys hurting someone’s feelings. I can see you nodding your head! I’m glad you get it.

Do you need some graceful ways of letting the vampire know it’s time to leave or that it’s a bad time to visit? You might want to check with Miss Manners, but I have a few suggestions.
*I have an appointment at (insert time/place), so I need to have time to get ready.
*I’m sorry, but it’s family time right now.
*Oh, I wish you had called first! I have plans already.
*I’m helping with homework right now. Maybe later?
*Can you come back another day? I’m taking care of chores.
*I have to get up early in the morning, so I need to cut this short.

If none of those work, be more direct. It might feel awkward, but you have to protect your energy and your time. Good luck. If you have any suggestions that work for you, let me know. I love reading comments on my blog. Thanks for reading!