Saturday, August 6, 2016

Almost a month later, and I'm feeling a bit better

Hi. It's been a busy three weeks, as summers often are. When my kids were smaller, and I was home with them, we used to have lists of fun things to do, and days where we didn't leave the house, and I really miss those days. I also had bucket lists - hikes I wanted to take them on and camping trips, and day trips...and now they are teenagers and have very little interest in waking up before noon, let alone going on a hike with me. I feel like I really missed the ball on that one, and uh-oh, here comes the mommy-guilt.

Anyway, busy, so I will condense the past 3 weeks into a brief list of of snippets to catch you all up. Far be it for me to allow you to miss out on even an instant of my life - that would be cruel!

1. Family - Reds games with A (don't get the hat o' nachos! They taste like sweaty socks!), family reunion in Columbus (so sweaty), birthday party for my twinlets, snuggles, visit with my dad and stepmom, shopping with my girl, and my boy is becoming a very decent cook!

2. Softball. Lots of it. Also volleyball. This is the last softball tournament of the season, and tryouts for next year are next week. Volleyball started 2 weeks ago, and she's happy to be back.

Here's a picture of the girl pitching. I didn't take it. 
3. Work. My boss left. This was heartbreaking, as she was the best boss I've ever had. I interviewed for her job, but only because I felt that was the next logical step. They did not hire me for the position, and I am...uncertain...about their selection.

4. With softball tournaments comes lots of reading...I have finished a lot of books this summer. Hey! I watch when she is up! Anyway, check my Goodreads page if you're interested. I am currently listening to 10% Happier by Dan Harris in the car, and I'm really liking it. (Reading other stuff, but I felt like this deserved an extra mention.)

5. Health - Started the August challenge this week. Boot camp twice, and I mowed the lawn yesterday. I also started over with the mindful eating class - the material is good, but I lost my focus the first time through - luckily, the material is mine to keep, and so is the Facebook group. I have had good days and bad days this past week, but I'm working it. I'm planning for boot camp 3 days next week, plus a walk. Also, my biceps are killing me today.

I think that sums it up nicely. It doesn't look like much, but between work and softball, that was a lot of time. Throw in a few book clubs...

Gotta get dressed. Softball tournament...Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hello anxiety. It's been awhile.

Can't say I've missed you.
The anxiety, not you, dear readers.
It has been, what, 2 1/2 years since I felt this bad. So, let's examine...

I know my worst triggers - the people I love the most and who live with me, my family, and my thoughts on how I have failed them. I don't want to be more specific, as they would probably not appreciate it. I don't believe I can actually fix this, but my first, and most desired response is to run away and hide, which is not my most mature way to respond.

Ok, this has not exactly changed, but I've dealt with it more effectively over the past 2 years than I am right now.

I haven't been working out this summer. Barely at all. Like, 4 times since June 1. Maybe 5.
My caffeine intake has been astronomical.
I've been eating junk, and not sleeping well, at all.

That's not to say "I haven't been focusing on me." I certainly have. Probably more so than I should - book clubs and nights out, and fun with friends. Mayhaps I need to focus less on my fun and more on my health? The two certainly need not be exclusive - but perhaps a few less ice cream cones and a few more early morning workouts would be helpful.

this morning I woke up full fledge anxiety attack, shaking and nauseous. My ensuing conversation with one of my family members did not help that. I cut back the coffee to one cup to try to take the edge off the shake (cold turkey hurts too much.) Kept the breakfast small.

I still have this desperate desire to bolt out the door and run for the next two months.

I will work on it.

Sorry to be such a downer. Lots going on the past month - family in town, and lots of twin snuggles make me happy. Softball tournaments most weekends, and the girl is pretty awesome at it. Renn Faire last weekend, which is always fun, and I threw knives. New tattoo last week - it's a semi-colon, with style. I'm pleased with how it came out.

I got it with my book club. We told our server at the bar we went to after, and she was like, "oh, are they literary tattoos?" No, we just got them together. As my friend J says, the book club who gets tattooed together, stays together.

Alright, I need to get back to work. There is a lot going on here, too, but nothing concrete, so nothing to share. Although, the mourning doves are nesting again in the light fixture outside my door. Baby birds are exciting.

Wish me luck with the whole freaking out thing.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Quick thoughts before my road trip.

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning, and came across a girl posing in her 10 year old prom dress, and telling one of those truly sad prom stories, something to the effect that she was asked to prom by her current boyfriend, Mr. Popular, she bought the dress, was all excited, and then heard that the guy intended to dump her and ditch her at prom for another girl. And that she had been hanging on to the dress all this time, with this dream that she would meet Mr. Right and they would dance the night away, and life would be sweet. She didn't talk about the fact that she looked damn good in the dress, that she has thousands of Instagram followers who she empowers and lifts up everyday, that the guy from that long ago prom could kiss her curvy white ass.

Now, I understand this may have been an instance of "see, I have those sad, I wish I was a princess with a prince" moments, too", but it didn't read that way to me. I read feelings of unworthiness and dejection in that post, and I wanted to wrap this 28 year old girl in my arms and tell her, "dude! wake up! you are fabulous! and you don't need any man to tell you that!" Phew, I'm glad I'm not 28 anymore.

My friend, we'll call her Jennifer, because I have 100 Jennifers in my life, and let's face it, Jennifers are some of the smartest people in the world; so, Jennifer says something wonderful every time I start to get down on myself about something - I'm a bad mom, I failed yet another diet, I missed boot camp last week, I'm lazy, blah blah blah. She has said it here, she has commented on Facebook, and, my favorite, she has grabbed my arm and yelled it at me in person, "Hey! Be nice to my friend!"

I love that. Because, I really try to be a good friend. I love my friends; they lift me up, make me want to be a better person, let me be me, even when I think I'm being annoying. And I try to say good things, and caring things to my friends. And, as I've reached my 4th decade, I've (finally) started to realize, these amazing, caring people wouldn't love an asshole.

Maybe I'm not thin and gorgeous, maybe I'm not as healthy as I want to be (although, I'm working), maybe I am not the mom I wish I was, and yes, I really wish I had finished my degree and maybe was writing a book or doing something amazing and world-changing right now.

Part of my job involves reading obituaries - I process memorial donations, and I pair the appropriate obituaries with the donations to make sure they are acknowledged correctly. It can be a little sad, of course, but often it makes me smile. I've read a lot of obituaries for people who lived long, beautiful, lives full of love and laughter. Their obituaries talk about their humor and their generosity of spirit, never how much money they had, or beautiful house, or their highest degree. They are people I wish I had the privilege of knowing. It makes me realize, even if I don't finish that degree, I can be that person that, at the end of my life, inspires someone to write about the fact that I made them smile. That I was full of love and kindness, with a bawdy sense of humor, and a huge "Read" list on Goodreads.

Your mission today? Go out and do a kindness for someone. And then,turn around and do a kindness for yourself. Tell yourself the things you tell your friends. Treat yourself like your best friend. And know, if I catch you saying something bad about yourself, I am going to yell at you, "Be nice to my friend!" Because I love you, and I don't love assholes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Remember my dirty little secret?

You know, the dirty little secret right in front of my house, in plain sight of all, that I published here on the blog, and on Facebook?

You know, the beds in front of my house?
This is the first house I've lived in, since I was old enough to know anything about living in a house. I was pretty freaking excited to do stuff outside when I moved in here, and I did lots of stuff - but my thumb is not so green. In fact, it's pretty freaking brown - I can make it grow...and then it dies.
Then, I started working full time, and I really have never figured out how to make time work for me. 

I'm also rather lazy.

So things got out of hand. My brother and I (with a small amount of help from my son) started pulling weeds and digging up the beds about a month ago. I had a mountain of mulch delivered today, expecting to work on it this week...and just take a look at what I came home to:

heeheeheeheeheeheehee! I'm so happy!
My brother even got my kids to help! I came home from work and happily finished spreading to the dulcet tones of Licensed to Ill (the music any self-respecting landscaping homeowner landscapes to.) I'm fairly certain there was something horrible growing in there, as all of us have some itchy spots. The burning bushes and the lilac need trimming, and there is still a pear stump in the ground at the end, looks so nice!
Here, just in case you need to do any gangsta landscapin'...

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Happy birthday to me!

I love my birthday. I've told you all before, I'm sure. Every birthday is a chance to celebrate the fact that I survived another year. And this past year has been a great one - full of wonderful friends and family, a job that I continue to grow into, celebrations, great books and amazing conversations. So, yes, I love my birthday, and I spend the day before telling people it's going to be my birthday, to ensure happy birthday wishes. I know it's silly, but I occasionally like to have a fuss made over me. I love presents and people actually going out of their way to make me happy.

Today I worked with my favorite work people. I brought mounds of birthday treats and forced my coworkers to celebrate with me. I got fun cards, a birthday donut, and a birthday SHRUBBERY!

This evening, my people and I went to City BBQ for some delightful brisket. I love brisket! I do not love skinny boys and their guitars and trucker caps playing country music. Loudly. At the City BBQ. City BBQ is not a place for live music. Specifically loud, poorly performed country music. He played Devil Went Down to Georgia. How can you even play that without a fiddle and keep your self-respect, for crying out loud?

Something interesting - my brother and I spent many hours on the front beds on Monday, and they are almost completely free of weeds. I planted another shrubbery(!) and a lavender plant. I just need to break up all the massive clay clumps, and smooth out the beds, and spread mulch...and that is making me tired just typing that. If you are feeling the need to destroy big clumps of clay, please come on over. You can use my tools. You can even use my gloves. Apparently, there was something growing in those beds that caused some sort of contact dermatitis, as I have itchy spots on my arms. It's awesomely sexy.

On a serious note - do you have any songs that you love so much they make your heart hurt? There are several for me - but this one, always:

Someday I would really love to learn to play this on the guitar. You know, once I learn to play the guitar.

Other than my birthday(!), this week has not been awesome, as I cannot seem to sleep, and that's just not fun. I do not boot camp on 4 hours of sleep. So I haven't been boot camping, either. Don't judge me, guys, I will be back, I just need to get some sleep. In fact, I'm going to finish this tea and then I'm going to bed.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Some Favorites on a Friday

Forgive me, my loves. It has been a whole month again. I have such valid excuses, really! Softball, a wedding, work has been insane, and I'm taking a management course for work. I love school, and have a true "teacher's pet" streak going, so I am loving this course, even if the material is rather dry. I have skipped more boot camps than I've attended, and my eating has gotten crazy again. Which has led me to more soul-searching, because nobody is better equipped to analyze my crazy than my own crazy brain, right? I'll address this briefly a little later, as it pertains to one of my favorites, and further over the next month.

It's been awhile since I wrote a good list. Let's go over some of my favorite things from the last few months:

1. Emily McDowell The most excellent cards and gifts. I've posted pictures of my favorite work mug on Instagram, but I've also bought the best cards here. They just say such fantastic things. If you follow her on Instagram, you often get lovely discounts. Who doesn't love discounts?

2. J.P. Sears and his hilarious YouTube videos, Ultra Spiritual Life. As a person who actually loves to look at yoga Instagram pictures, this video is my favorite:
He also does serious, life-coaching-like videos, but who wants serious?

3.  Instagram. Yeah, I'm late to the party. I don't care, I really love it. At times inspiring, amusing, and friendly, I feel comfortable there. Unlike Twitter. Dumb Twitter. I got an account to follow my sweet pumpkin, Jenny Lawson, but it's like a crowded room in there, and I have trouble keeping my head above the fray. So I stay out. Stick to the Instagram.

4.  Essencha Tea House, and their Valerian Dream tea. It is the only way I get to sleep early enough on Sunday nights to get to 5AM boot camp on Monday mornings. It smells like butt, but it tastes fine, and helps me calm my brain. No easy feat, that.

5.  New blog I'm following: fANNEtastic Food. She is a registered dietitian specializing in whole foods and intuitive eating, and she has some excellent recipes. She and two other RD bloggers I follow, Avocado a Day and Delish Knowledge are running a course on Intuitive Eating, and I have signed up for the course - happy early birthday to me! I have been intrigued by the concept of intuitive eating for some time, mainly because I have problems with binging, and I lost touch with my hunger cues years and years ago. The Whole30 was definitely effective for me in February, but it was so restrictive, and as soon as the 30 days were up, I binged like I would never see ice cream again. Maybe taking away choices isn't the answer, but understanding my body better is (there was also the whole "beans and whole grains are unhealthy" bit that really irritated the logical side of me.) The course is called Joyful Eating, Nourished Life, and I am excited to get started, for three reasons: I am interested in intuitive eating and learning about it and my own body, I'm a big nerd and I enjoy taking classes, and I am more and more convinced that health and wellness is the field I should go into (yeah, I'm 40, obese, and thinking I want to go into the health and wellness field, so what of it? Others have faced bigger challenges...), and this is a step in the right direction. I will keep you all up to date.

So there are some favorites for right now. I am playing in a charity kickball tournament tomorrow, and I am way more excited than I should be. I'm already on the team, guys, so I won't be picked last. And I always liked kickball. And, you know, it's for a good cause.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

R2, D3 Reboot

Fell off that cheerful Whole 30 wagon last week. And I'll tell you why - I was off Monday and Tuesday and thought, "pfft, I don't need to spend all day Sunday prepping when I'm not having to go to work." And then, I didn't prep on Monday or Tuesday, either, and then I just ate all the unhealthy foods.

So I spent Sunday prepping lots of food, and hanging with my brother, and doing a very little bit of yard work. It was busy, and messy, and I took some pictures of my mess. Wanna see?
Food prep =so much chopping + piles of dishes

But it also = a fridge full of meals
Remember last year I told you all about my dirty little (right in the front yard), prairie-like, weed-filled secret?
Yeah, still there.

3 feet of progress. I would like to figure out some lovely, native, easy to care for plants to plant, and also lay mulch. But, so many weeds. 

I've been in a rather irritable mood this week. Heavy work load, not enough sleep, no sugar. I've kept my temper for the most part, but yesterday I worked a late day, then left for my daughter's softball game and the traffic was beyond terrible. Accidents in several different spots, people driving like idiots, sirens everywhere. I figured there was no way I was going to make the game, so I got on the expressway going home. Then my husband told me the game was an hour later, so at the last minute, I got off to go the other direction. Got to the school, the softball field was, like, a mile away from the parking lot, since, you know, it is a girl's sport, and we always get the short end. Ok, so extra steps on my Fitbit, which is a good thing, since I left it at home today (forehead - palm). I get up to the field, and they only have bleachers on the home side. By this point, I had that angry, breathless feeling in my chest, and I said a few stupid, jerky things, although not very loudly, as I just don't tend to express the anger very loudly. I sat on the concrete against a wall and sulked, until a precious Great Dane puppy came by, and licked my hand, and, well, you just can't stay angry when you pet a puppy, can you? Even when you have horrible asthmatic reactions to puppies, you have to giggle and love on a puppy.
The game went very late, and they ended up losing by one in overtime - varsity and JV. I was whining in my head about being tired, but I realized it was almost 10:00PM and my daughter still had homework to do, so I just sucked it up and stayed up with her while she finished it (not her fault - they had to be out there by 4PM, and it's almost an hour away. They get a lot of homework in 7th grade! Today I had terrible cravings, but I was exhausted, and there are monthly reasons, so I figured out the cravings, and the really irritable mood. Which was only exacerbated by my having to take poor Finny to the vet today since his sugar hasn't gone down enough, and having to wait for 35 minutes. I realize that is not particularly terrible, but for them it is, and I had just come from work, so I wasn't happy. Neither was Finny, for that matter, who is not particularly chill when it comes to having blood drawn. Or riding in the car. Or other cats, especially the office cat, Punkin, who brings out the loud, screamy side of Finnegan.

You may have noticed I'm a bit scatty tonight, and I am kind of just typing whatever comes to mind. Now, the idea of drinking tea and eating one of my brownie ball things and then going to bed is coming to mind, so I think I shall do that.