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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Recycled posts - Appreciating the little things

This piece originally appeared on Helium in 2006. I had just received an e-mail, that this article was pulled, because it was "off topic". The topic was Appreciating the little things. You tell me whether it was off topic or not.

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Along with many (MANY) distinct disadvantages, being a borderline (Borderline Personality Disorder patient) carries one big advantage - it really forces you to notice the little things in life. ...Both good little things and bad little things... A borderline can be a pillar of strength during a tragedy, such as a breakup of a relationship or a death of a loved one, but be flung into the deepest depression by a missing button or a broken saucer. By the same token, a borderline can remain indifferent while watching the funniest sitcom, but be endlessly amused by the antics of a kitten.

I was not doing well when I came home from a business trip to St. Louis late on Thursday, October 19, 2006. I just spent almost an entire week working 12-14 hours and sleeping 5-6 hours per day, my flight home was almost an hour late and I didn't take my medication that evening (I ate my dinner at the airport and I don't feel comfortable taking pills in public - plus, I didn't realize I would have to wait that long). When I finally did get home, I discovered that my remote connection wasn't working, which meant I would need to get up at 6:00 a.m. the next morning and drive to Charlotte to get it fixed with our tech support. All of the above resulted in an argument with Gerry, because I snapped at him, followed by a pretty nasty breakdown. Not fun...

Needless to say, I was feeling rather down the next morning, and having to drag myself to the office an hour away didn't help. I know, anyone who had ever lived in LA, Chicago or NYC will laugh at me, but we do have traffic in the Charlotte, NC area, and our tailgaters are the WORST. One such genius decided to sit on my bumper after I had to get into the fast lane to avoid being run over by a tractor trailer (I did signal my intent as far in advance as I could before the tractor trailer was practically on top of me), who suddenly decided that the slow lane wasn't good enough for him. (Tractor trailers are another big problem on our two major highways - 85 and 77 - because these are major north-to-south cargo corridors.) The tailgating guy became unhappy, swerved around me doing 95 mph, lost control of his car and spun out across three lanes of traffic all the way onto the left shoulder. It's a miracle he didn't actually hit anyone and didn't cause a major wreck (maintaining distance RULES!). Whew...

We did manage to fix the problem that was causing issues with my remote connection. As always, it turned out I had to drive an hour to take care of a problem that only required 15 minutes to fix. Figures... I was not happy. AND I was still sleepy and tired. ...And dopey... Although, not sneezy...

When I finally left office on Friday (seriously dragging my feet and anticipating the drive home with horror), I have encountered a middle-aged lady walking her pug. Pugs are the most adorable ugly dogs out there! This particular one was also very friendly. He dragged his owner toward me, jumped all around me, almost wrapped me into his leash and gave me lots of kisses when I squatted to pet him. His little tail was going at Mach 2, but his little face remained very serious, "This is a serious matter, people - must love this person, must give kisses, must jump!" My mood shot right up just watching him. His owner was very patient, because the little fellow really wanted to make sure he did everything properly.

When I got home I discovered a whole truckload of pleasant surprises that further helped straighten me out. One was my gift to myself - Aerosmith Nine Lives CD that's been on my wish list for at least 5 years (isn't Full Circle the best drinking song EVER?).

Then there were two big boxes from Perfect Petals - my wedding flowers. As I mentioned in my wedding planning article, almost everyone who was going to be at our wedding was allergic to one thing or another (including Gerry and myself), so we decided to go with silk flowers. Plus, I have always wanted a cascading bouquet, and those of you who have ever come in contact with the wedding industry know full well how much those things costs when done with live flowers. Ouch! When I opened the boxes from Perfect Petals, I squealed almost as loudly as that little pug when he jumped all over me - the flowers were absolutely beautiful! With everything else that's been going on, I was having a lot of trouble getting into the wedding spirit (five rounds of testing - 6 cycles each, four implementations - traveling for two of those, trying to do three jobs at the same time, AND train, AND write, AND pull together a wedding will do that to you). So, holding my big beautiful cascading bouquet in my arms helped me feel like a bride probably for the first time since Gerry and I became engaged a year and a half prior.

You just never know what might pull you out of the worst depression. Sometimes all you need is to hold a bouquet of silk flowers, while listening to Aerosmith and thinking about a little pug.

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