Saturday, January 23, 2010


2 Chronicles 15:7 "But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”

Hearing these words as a child: “Work first, play later,” I very quickly learned to appreciate them. And they have served me well, as this is a great motivator: “Do all your housework first, Tanis, and THEN you can play your stupid computer games.” And this is what I tell myself now as an adult - but if it works, why not? I get my housework done and out of the way, so I can enjoy myself, free of guilt.

Probably the first area that I incorporated this philosophy was with food. In those earlier years, I absolutely hated peas. Maybe it was because back then they came from a can and Mom would overcook them, I don’t know. Nonetheless, I found myself alone a few times, still sitting at the table hours after supper was done, and gagging at each tiny bite. But if I didn’t finish my peas, I would not get any dessert. I love dessert. I very quickly figured out that Mom was unrelenting on this rule, so why not just eat the peas very first thing. Then the more pleasurable foods would override anything that tasted bad.

Even though I love peas now, not only do I still do this, but I will taste-test a bit of each item on my plate to determine the order of indulgence. As well, I will analyze something like a pork chop to find the pieces that will have the very-best-probable-lingering-taste-factor, and push those to the side for later. So, for example: I will eat the peas first, sweet potatoes next, pork chop last, and the best pork chop pieces the very last. Only once did my husband make the mistake of assuming that I was NOT going to eat those.

Oh, and eating sandwiches, of course I hated the crust. And naturally, Mom insisted we eat that as well, as Dad would exclaim to us kids, “But that’s the best part!” Putting my reward system to work, I would eat the crusted-circumference first, and then enjoy the center. Once I moved out of the house, and was my own boss, I decided I didn’t have to eat the crust at all. As I get older, I have matured... I now try to disguise my quirk. I will eat the crust, but I will alternate: some crust, some center, some crust – but always – save the best for last.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Proverbs 7:4 "Say to wisdom, 'You are my sister,' and call understanding your intimate friend."

Lists are my favorite and very necessary pals... They have saved me from so many over-sight issues, faux pas, and brain-wracking efforts. And still, I get myself into trouble. I tried making bread in the fool-proof breadmaker and messed up twice in a row. Back in High School, I was ALWAYS redoing my science experiments. They never once worked. And I should have failed Home Ec. I realized that I needed to check each list item more than Santa. At the very least, 3 times.

But without a list, I would be extra-doomed. I can so easily become distracted. If there isn’t something to distract me, I make something up. Or, my brain will take off all on its own, and I completely “go away.” When I “come back”, I KNOW I was thinking, but I have no idea about what.

To cope, I find myself hyper-thinking – going into the zone – deep, deep into the heart of the issue. This is when I have to start making my notes and lists. I have made lists for just about everything. I have lists for groupings of lists. I should really have a master list, but I figure, “Eh, I’ve made it pretty obvious, OR some things will just be a surprise when I stumble onto them later.”

Some of the lists are just crazy! Like logging all the movies I’ve ever seen (which is currently well over 3,000). And now that I’ve tracked these for this long, it is a compulsion that I cannot give up. I got rid of my binder at around the one thousand mark and entered all the recorded data into a spreadsheet. I am so thankful for the computer. I can effectively file all lists without any paper-clutter. Still, when my husband comes across a piece of paper with odd scribbling, he leaves it alone. He knows full well that it is probably something important – something that I have yet to add to my computer-list-collection.

I must say, some of my list ideas are pretty awesome. Some are extremely quirky. Below, I’m going to add some of them to the comment boxes. I look forward to seeing some of your ideas, not that I need to be encouraged.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Proverbs 1:5-6 “A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles.”

I couldn’t just have normal problems or interests – people might just start to take me seriously!

But seriously, being painfully shy, I had been considered either aloof or mysterious by people who didn’t really know me. Naturally I didn’t know too many people because I was too shy. Tired of being misunderstood and mislabeled, it was during my third year of university that I decided I was just NOT going to be shy anymore. This unleashed a monster that I am still trying to figure out.

My biggest pet quIRK through it all is feeling like I’m still misunderstood, even though I am now very open and wear my heart on my sleeve. Of course, this presents a problem in itself. The possibility is always there to either:
a) overwhelm people
b) annoy people
c) offend people
d) scare people away
e) a varied selection of all the above

Part of this quIRK is thinking that “to NOT be shy” I HAVE to speak. And when I speak, I should be entertaining, especially if the other person doesn’t hold up their end of the conversation. It’s like, “Okay, if you don’t talk – I will – I’m not shy! - BLAAAAH!” SOME people get me and appreciate me for this, but this does not seem to be the norm. So to avoid a) through e), I do TRY to ask questions. Maybe I’m asking the wrong questions?

Does anybody else (out there) struggle with holding normal conversations? What do normal people talk about? What are some good conversation-starter-questions with normal people?

Friday, January 1, 2010


Romans 14:5 “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.”

I find it amusing that I decided to begin a blog today, of all days. Finding the act of making New Year’s resolutions pointless, I LOVE the fact that every day can be a new beginning. Where would I be without that? Because pretty much everyday I ask myself, “Why did I do (or say) that?” “What is my problem?” “How do I keep doing the same things over and over again?” Of course, there are those days where I surprise myself and come up with totally new issues to obsess about, dwell on, and over-analyze, which induce compulsions to seek out solutions or coping methods. I know doing SOME of that is a good thing. So the dichotomy arises: to self-assess or stop being self-centered? Just maybe the last part of that question is the answer to the first part.