Friday, January 24, 2014


One of the things Gretchen Rubin wrote about in The Happiness Project was being grateful. Between that and the book Ace and I are reading about marriage (not the best book as we keep disagreeing with things said in it and our marriage is doing quite well, thank you), I have been thinking about how much I am grateful for how good a husband Ace is.

And they have caused me to reflect that I say "Thank you" to Ace regularly for him holding open doors for me. He prefers it when I let him get doors and I'm happy to let him, as I like it when he holds open doors. I almost always say "Thank you" and I always mean it when I say it. Sometimes it probably sounds like a subconscious statement, but it never is. I always appreciate his being willing to hold a door like a gentleman.

It's also caused me to reflect on the other things about Ace that I'm thankful for. The man takes such good care of me, even when I'm being cranky or grouchy. He cares and it shows. He cares more about our relationship and my well being than I sometimes give him credit for. Mostly when I'm being cranky or grouchy.

I have a wonderful husband who makes it easy to be thankful that he's in my life. He lets me tease him all the time and while he often teases me back, he never gets his feelings hurt by my teasing (not that I'm malicious). He is my hero. And he's very easy to get along with.

So, I am thankful for Ace. And I love him. Enough to make stupid jokes about silly books. And have serious talks about serious subjects. And to make plans for the future.

Thank you for being the best husband ever, Ace. Hopefully I'm at least as good a wife.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happiness Is...

I am currently reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (along with 2 other books that I'm reading out loud to Ace as he drives and we're talking about). And it's got me thinking about what I can do to appreciate my life more as it stands.

I started reading it right now because there are several people's blogs talking about depression, and it was getting me depressed (Not that they shouldn't talk about depression, because they should talk about whatever they want to talk about. I just needed to focus on something else after that, and happiness seemed like a good option.). So, I decided to focus on something positive.

It's one of the first nonfiction books I've read in a while. Ace and I have been reading through fiction, which is wonderful, but I like nonfiction too. So, I'm in the middle of 3 nonfiction books at once. (Nicely, they are about 3 different topics, so they are easy to keep straight.)

I'm not unhappy. And I know I could probably be happier in general, but I'm pretty happy with life right now. Things are going well. I can replace my worn out clothes. My bills are paid and we're starting to not feel like our finances are tight. We're going to be paid on over 4,000 miles next week. Life is good.

But I'm doing better emotionally because I am focused on happier things than depression. I pulled myself back to the shore before it could get away from me. I'm doing good.

I am planning on spending some time looking into poetry after I finish The Happiness Project. I've never really appreciated poetry, and I'm going to work on seeing if I can find poems that I like (Besides The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe, which has always appealed to me, despite the somewhat dark and depressing subject matter. Maybe it's the meter?).

I'm going to work on growing some. Exploring things. I may not ever love poetry, but I bet I can find some poems that speak to me. And worse case scenario, I waste a few days and find that poetry is truly not something I like. There are worse prospects.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Can I Just Sleep for the Next Week?

I am having a weird day today. I'm not depressed, I don't think. I'm just... emotional? Or something. Other people's emotions are hitting me harder than normal. And I'm way too tired for someone who got plenty of sleep last night.

I am struggling with my own emotions some too.

My grandma is not as well as I'd like (not that I can do anything about that). My laptop, the one that my brain keeps telling me is mine, is supposed to be fixed and waiting in Tulsa, but I don't know when I'll get it (and then I have to add stuff to it all over again).

And people are fighting depression, and I get it and I love the posts about it, but it sort of feels like those posts are dragging me down, unintentionally. And I'd hate to find that talk about depression, even talk about things to pull you out of it, gets me depressed. That undertow would be nasty.

I am finally, after our time off, past my cold. And things are going well, financially, for the first time in years. The laptop thing? A minor blip for a few days. Seriously, we had to watch our spending from Monday until today, and now our bank account looks really nice again. It's been way to long since we've had that kind of financial security.

So, I'm having a weird day. The shoreline is not as steady as I'd like, but I can still see it. I'm not fighting an undertow. And I'm being cautious to keep that from happening.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

(I'm) Colorful

I once had someone tell me that she liked my clothes because I wore lots of colored shirts and she had gotten in the habit of only wearing black and white shirts because of something her ex-mother-in-law had said. That's been in my mind lately, for a good reason.

This past weekend, Ace and I were off the truck for some home time. Which in this case was us sitting in a hotel about three miles from his company's yard and trying to relax/get some things accomplished. One if the things we did was buy me some new clothes. It's been a while since I've done more than replace socks, jeans, shoes, and underwear. My long sleeve shirts show that they've been worn for most of the last decade.

Most of my shirts are very colorful. I like wearing bright, somewhat bold colors. Not because I just love being looked at, but because I like color. Despite the colorful clothes, I usually do a good job of blending into the background when I want. I am content with this, because I usually prefer not being the center of attention. But I like colors and I'm not afraid to wear them.

This extends to nail polish, when I actually wear it. I usually don't wear nail polish, mostly because I'm too lazy to mess with it most of the time and partially because I get annoyed when it starts chipping (which is always way to quickly for my tastes). But when I do go for nail polish, it isn't usually in pinks or reds. I like blue or green or purple or black (from time to time on the black).

One of the things I got was a second hoodie. The one I've been wearing for the last several years is grey. It's a nice, neutral color and I know it goes with everything. My new hoodie is green. It's bold and probably will clash with something at some point, but so far it's been fine (of course, so far I haven't worn red). It's mostly for me to wear when I need to wash the grey hoodie. But I kind of like the bolder color. It's nice in a different sort of sense.

I am M.A. Smith, and I like bold colors. And that is awesome.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

An Update Mostly on Laptops

The good news is that it turns out that Ace and I had to share a laptop for very little time. And now we'll have a back up laptop if something happens.

The other good news is that even with the hotel, car rental, laptop, clothes (oh yeah, I've got new bits to my wardrobe), and food (for the hotel and the truck), we still have money in our account!

The only bad news is that Ace had to contact his old trucking company to get them to mail out his last paycheck to our mailbox, which was slightly annoying. But they owe him money, which is better than the alternative.

We did have a bit of a misunderstanding with the rental car company about how much car insurance was needed, but we got that straightened out and they didn't charge us extra for my one day of driving it (they were originally going to do that). So, that was wonderful and helped us afford the back up laptop.

I've still got to figure out if this laptop is my laptop or the one I mailed off is and which one will be the back up laptop. But that is much less annoying.

Each laptop is made by a different company and looks different. We kept meaning to get two of the same, but it kept not happening.

So, now we have 3 laptops for the 2 of us, except one is mailed off to Houston to be fixed. But that will be back soon enough.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Because Of Course It Is

In an effort to prove that Ace and I really shouldn't share a laptop, my nice, new, under-a-month-old laptop decided that it's hard drive should fail. So, we're sharing a laptop for at least a few days until we can see if my old laptop can used with a monitor and my new laptop can have it's hard drive replaced (that should take about two weeks, because of mailing the laptop off and getting it mailed back).

Thankfully, it should be a fairly quick fix once we mail the laptop off. Whee.

Thank God for my smart phone. It will help tremendously.

I love my husband, who spent over an hour on the phone with tech support (staffed in India) to get this issue as resolved as it already is. The man is awesome. (They kept trying to say they could send a tech out within two to three days, which is nice, but impossible for us on the road. They finally decided that it could be mailed off and they will mail us a box to mail it to them in. Hopefully they got our address right.)

Life is... well, better than it could be. That backup laptop is sounding better and better by the hour.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I'm Still Alive Even If My Body Says It's Not So Sure

So, it's a new year. And I haven't posted in a month.

December was kind of crappy for me.

My laptop got broken (the screen did) and had to be replaced (which it has). But I don't have everything set up on the new laptop yet because I don't have an unlimited internet connection and all my game cds.

I got a cold that has continued to last for over a week. Right now I have the most pathetic cough when I don't have medication in me. On the plus side, that is about the sum of what is left of the cold.

We had a terrible snow/ice storm pop up when we were on our way to home time and visiting my dad leading to a delay on getting to see them. And the roads in northwest Arkansas do not get plowed nearly thoroughly enough, which made travel slightly tricky once we could get there.

I had meant to post, right about the time my laptop broke. But then it broke and I had to share a laptop with Ace for about a week and we both hated it (we cannot share a laptop, that much is obvious). (We may be getting another laptop as a back up laptop in the nearish future... because we can't do the sharing a laptop thing again and that would keep that from happening.)

And throughout all of that, it was actually not that crappy of a month. Mostly because the stress of dealing with Ace's job was about half that of what it was in the past. Even when we have had stressful situations, I've been past the annoyance with his new company in a matter of hours instead of still shaking my head about it all.

It helps that we had the money to buy a new laptop within a week. Without hurting anything else in our budget. It helps that any annoyances are usually derived from having to drive back highways more than we had been. Which is only annoying when I'm on my period (which seems to be when they are the most popular for us to drive, oddly enough).

Basically, I'm complaining, but my life is actually better. Verifiably so.

Now to just clear up that jury duty issue...