4 In Midlife Crisis Fodder/ Thoughts & Observations

Retail Therapy – Self-Help Via Amazon

Life cracks me up.  You dig, dig, dig for answers on how to be productive and successful in all the obvious places…self-help books, training classes, mentors…then end up finding what you’re looking for via an impromptu shopping trip online at Amazon.

No, I’m not kidding.  A shopping trip on Amazon helped me get shit settled in my head.  (Kind of takes “retail therapy” to a new level, huh?)

So, here’s the deal.  The last three months of my life have been a challenge.  Nothing life-altering, thank God.  Just lots of plates spinning around on top of spindly little sticks with me running around trying to keep them all going.  Most of it has been day-job related, though the babysitter quitting by text message and then getting damn near zero applicants to replace her hasn’t helped.  No matter what I’ve done, or how creative I’ve tried to be in getting in front of things, I’ve seemed to be treading water at best.

I got my first clue as to what might be the real issue when a mentor of mine gave me a career fitness questionnaire.  One of the questions was, “What do you do extremely well?  When people talk about your strengths, what do they mention first?  What do you seem to do better than others?”  One of my answers: Discipline – I’m a problem solver and I get things done.

You’d think, given the aforementioned, endless plate spinning I’d have put two and two together right then.  But no, that would be too easy.  Life kept going and I kept running in-between things like a madwoman.

Realizing Thanksgiving was getting closer, and knowing Casa de Morgan would be hosting the family feast this year, I added another plate to my long string of madly twirling china.

Now, we’ve hosted Thanksgiving before and I pulled it off–albeit a bit harried.  I have a super nice, commercial grade oven that came with the house when we bought it, but it’s a single-holer…and anyone who’s ever hosted twenty people for a Thanksgiving feast knows a double oven is pretty dog-gone handy for staying sane in the middle of it all.

This year I didn’t want to be a lunatic.  This year I wanted to be chatty and talk to people.  Maybe have a glass of wine and look more like Martha Stewart in the kitchen than Jeff Gordon.

Problem solving Rhenna kicked into high gear.  How could I make my inner Martha Stewart a reality?

I confess, I went a bit extreme at first.  I thought about selling my Porsche equivalent commercial grade oven in favor of a free-standing, double oven…preferably one with a self-cleaning feature.  (Which mine does not.  That little event should be a blog post all of its own.)

In the end I talked myself out of such a drastic measure…but it was close.  Frankly, it was probably only hubby’s low, calm, “Sure, honey.  That makes perfect sense to me,” that kept me from moving forward.  He’s getting better at reverse psychology all the time….

But my problem was still there.

Then it happened.  I was driving to work and I thought about my dad’s toaster oven. “I wonder if they make those bigger?” I asked myself.

I got to work, got online with Amazon, and voila! Thanks to Amazon Prime, my new Breville Extra Large countertop oven arrived in one day.  I spent the weekend trying out feature and it worked!

I have a plan!  I can put everything in to cook at one time, have a glass of wine, and impersonate Martha Stewart!  (Assuming the kids don’t break anything while everyone’s there.)  Problem solved!

I was so pleased with myself by the end of the weekend, I was damn near giddy.

And then it hit me…

The crux of what’s been making me cranky…

I’m spinning plates and solving nothingI have a fundamental need to fix things and/or make situations better.

Did I learn that from an obvious avenue like self-help books or my mentor?  Well, almost. (Sometimes I can be a bit obtuse.)  Amazon was the one that really brought the concept home.

What about you?  Have you ever learned something ground-breaking in a less than traditional manner?  Found a golden nugget to make your life better when you weren’t looking? Or from someone you’d thought couldn’t possibly help?

Hmmm.  I wonder what I can find on Amazon today….


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  • Reply
    CJ Burright
    November 18, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Ah, I feel your pain – I’ve hosted Thanksgiving at my house for the last 10 years. To me, Black Friday is recovering on the couch. My least expected golden advice came from my daughter concerning an uncomfortable situation I didn’t want to deal with (birthday party where hubby’s ex-wife and family would outnumber us 2 to 15…and they make no effort to ease the tension). She said, “It’s not about if you don’t want to go or not. It’s about showing up.” Put straight by a teenager.

    • Reply
      November 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      D’Oh! That’s rough. Good advice, but rough when it comes from a teen. 🙂

  • Reply
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