Archive for the 'Health and Sustainability' Category

30
Jun
10

Save Calypso

My dog has an allergic condition. Her treatment will be a minimum of $600, most of it up front. I can’t afford it and so my only other option is to euthanize her. No shelter will take her with a medical condition and finding a family willing to take on her expenses will be next to impossible. I can’t euthanize her. I can’t do it. She’s only TWO, people.

In better times

Her treatment begins at $600, and goes on every year for life.  At least half is required up front to get her a test to show which allergies she has and create a custom twice-yearly vaccination for her.  It could take up to 3 months for that to even be ready to administer.  So we’re looking at another $300+ in temporary meds to quiet her allergy reaction to get her to the point where we can even begin to treat her.  I don’t have it, not with two kids in daycare for the summer. And I can’t stand to watch her suffer, scratching herself bald and bleeding until school starts again. Believe me, we’ve tried EVERYTHING. Diet, prescriptions, prescription foods, supplements, shampoos, you name it.  The only thing that has worked so far has been $150 a month in medicines that aren’t sustainable for her whole life, even if we could afford that amount.  Seriously, we’ve spent close to a grand trying to find a way to help her. This custom vaccine is our last hope.

So I’m doing something I’m very uncomfortable with. I’m asking for help.

Help Me Save My Dog

This goes to my Paypal account.  If donations reach more than we need, I’ll take the extra and donate it to a local animal charity or the humane society in my area. The internet can be a scary place, but it can also be a wonderful place, and I wouldn’t hesitate to help out someone in whatever way I could. Unfortunately, me and my dog are the ones that need help now.

26
May
10

At the Seams

The following is an email I sent a few days ago to a friend:

Last night, Mike was off doing his own thing (downloading music 2 floors down from me and the kids) and the kids were in tears and screaming because I finally put my foot down about them sleeping I my bed and giving myself some alone time, and I was ready to cry and pull my hair out, and I ended up giving in, which only reinforces for them that they’ll get their way if they throw a big enough fit.  Which is what happens when Mike tries to give me a break and put them to bed for me.  Unless they’re just wiped out, they both end up back in my bed at some point, usually with Daughter in tears and demanding to be held and rocked.  She’s only 2 and I remember Son having these kinds of needs when he was her age.  But man, it’s trying.

I’m coming apart at the seams.  I get no break; we’re not that stable financially though we’re better than we were, but it means I can’t afford retail therapy and I can’t afford a shrink, and I can’t even afford to get my fucking hair colored.  I’m miserable with my health and my weight, and despite the Babysitter of Awesome letting me bring the kids earlier so I can work out before work, I’m having a hard time dragging myself out of bed at 5 am to get them there by 7 so that I can work out.  It’s a vicious cycle.  I come home and it’s all kids, all evening long.  Baths, stories, bed, I knit while I try to get them to sleep in my bed while we catch up on shows on TV, but they’ve started bickering over something, a toy, the covers, who gets to lay next to me, something.  I knit as much as I can (maybe an hour) before I can’t stand it anymore because I constantly have to stop to readjust the covers from their fighting/jumping/flopping all over, or get someone a drink, or help someone brush her teeth, or help someone with her pull up so she can go potty…  My knitting gets interrupted, my reading gets interrupted, they follow me all over the house, and I can’t even play the fucking piano without them coming over to plink on the keys with me.  Most of the time it’s endearing but lately, annoying.  Last night, I put them to bed (together) in Son’s bed and Daughter screamed her head off and Son was crying too, accusing me of things like, “You just never want to snuggle with me AGAIN!”  After the third time putting her back in bed with Son, she came in to my room gasping and hiccupping and desperately saying, “I sorry! I sorry! I sorry!” over and over, so we can add worst mother ever to my emotions.  I am so tired by the end of the evening fights that I go to sleep later than I wanted to feeling awful and so when my alarm goes off at 5, I can’t get up right yet.  So then I’m late dropping the kids off, and late to getting to the gym at work, so I can’t work out fully before I have to shower so I’m not late to my desk.  Then by midmorning, I’m stressed out again over learning another job and waiting forever for my replacement to be found and hired.  I feel so bad about things that I just want to fucking eat.  Eating is comfort, but it’s the reason I’m fat.  It’s the reason I feel like shit.  So I fight it until I can’t anymore and I give in and spend my last dollar on vending machine shit and then beat myself up for my weakness.  Then I just want to eat more to feel better again.  Then I’m done with work and on my way home for today, and then it’s kids, and dinner, and baths, and bedtime… Lather, rinse, repeat.

I hate my temper being so short but I can’t find the time to get away by myself for a couple hours.  I hate the way I feel emotionally, physically, and temperamentally to Mike and the kids.  I’m running out of gas and I seriously need to recharge my batteries, but I don’t know how.

BUT!  I want to go to the vending machine so bad right now, except instead, I got out my Ziploc of edamame and have been snacking on that instead of wasting money on empty calories.  I’ve broken the food/self-hatred/food cycle for the last ten minutes at least.

Things are better than they were when I wrote that email, but it gave me pause.  Something’s gotta give, and on some days, it feels like its my sanity that’s the weak chain link.  I don’t know what the answer is, but something occurred to me, with the help of the friend to whom I sent that email.  I’m letting these things be a reason to not take care of things, bitching about the sad and trying circumstances and yet doing nothing to change them.  I’m playing the martyr, and I HATE martyrdom when it’s not justified.  I was all ‘woe is me’ while stuffing Cheezits in my face.  Not going to help matters in the least.

I fully admit to having an unnatural attachment to food, to emotional eating, and to eating as a form of self-defense.  With a bit of sketchiness in my past, food became my comfort, and frankly, I’m wondering if I’m understanding all of the causes of my comfort eating because the period of time in which I gained most of my extra weight does not coincide with the event I thought was the sole reason I go to the food trough in time of hurt.

I’ve started to keep a food journal and document not just what I’m eating but what I’m feeling before, during, and after to show my feelings, what may trigger my overwhelming need for food in the wrong quantities and wrong times.  I’ve also started thinking about eating better not as a whole picture but a puzzle.  Each piece of the puzzle results in a single decision.  Taken one decision at a time, one good choice after another, I could make an overall very healthy puzzle, if I’m not concerned about the whole picture, not concerned about making sure I have everything for the foreseeable future planned to the T.  I need to get it through my head that to be a successful lifestyle change, I can’t flip a switch.  It’s a day at a time, a decision at a time.  Baby steps can lead to big changes.

The other thing that my friend helped me see was that I need to be selfish to pull this off.  I’m so used to putting myself last, so that Mike can go out with the guys, so that the kids get what they need, so that things are taken care of.  I’m lucky in that I have a husband who is not allergic to housework.  In fact, he’s cleaner than I am, so our home is a product of both our efforts. But Mike and I disagree on some things regarding food, namely what’s healthy.  I want to cut out processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, and buy organic meats as much as we can.  He starts to draw the line there.  We can’t afford organic, he says.  I say we don’t need meat every single meal, and that if I can find good recipes that don’t have meat in them, he’d probably be pretty happy anyway as long as he’s fed.  And then it would also make the meals with meat not only more anticipated, but tastier because it’s better quality meat.  But he’s not ready to take the step to eating less meat.  He grew up with meat every meal (so did I, but I’m more open to change right now) and hasn’t wrapped his brain about feeling full without a meat included.  But I have, so why do I have to eat like he eats to get my own health?  Sure, our budget has some restrictions but again, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing just yet.  A few choices here and there can start the process.

I need to be selfish in asking for workout time, too.  Luckily the Babysitter of Awesome has stepped up to the plate here, but on days like today, when I slept too long through my alarm because of the up late thing again, I’ll have to be worth it to myself to ask for some yoga time when I get home from work.  I have to be more demanding for things like when I ask for something, like asking Mike to blow up my balance ball ~ three times…in the last two weeks ~ that I follow through when it doesn’t get done.  When he was training to try to join the local police force, I most certainly helped him not only keep the kids out of his hair, but we all went to the track with him and I timed his laps so he’d know where he stood.  Sure the kids were bored and hanging off me like monkeys in trees, but he needed me so we all went.

Recently, another friend has needed some help and advice.  I’ve spent hours talking with her, trying to do my level best to be a good friend, a good listener, and be a valuable sounding board and safe landing spot for her in a trying time.  I’ve got another friend who has been dealing with something difficult for months now and I’m always happy to talk to her when she’s upset, or even just wants to talk about anything other than the big elephant in the room.  And yet another friend came to me for quick advice on something and I’ve availed myself to her through email.  Another has opened a bridal shop and I was there for her grand opening, offering to photograph her dresses when they come in, tweeting about her shop and commiserating with her when she realized she’d have to get a part time job to pay for some of the opening expenses she took on since deciding to forego a small business loan.  I’m a generous person, and I try to be kind and caring, treat people as I want to be treated, and be a good friend.  I try to be a safe place for my friends to be selfish when they need to be because everyone needs to feel important at times, especially if they’re dealing with stress and hard to handle things.

It occurred to me that the kindness I show others I should maybe show to myself too.  I should take myself seriously, stop with the “can’t” thinking and give myself some priority over stuff that can wait.  If I treat people the way I want to be treated, why can’t I treat myself that way, too?  It’s a good question, one for which I have no answers.  But I think I’m going to find out.

Baby steps…

10
May
10

I’m Not Even Going To Offer An Excuse for My Blog Absence This Time, Frakking April

So I woke up one day last week and decided my life needs something.  I’m missing something, a je ne sais quoi, a joi de vivre that defies me at every turn.  I’ve undertaken a quest, if you will, to find that elusive thing I’m missing.  It has so many names, but it boils down to one: happiness.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty happy most of the time, but in a self-deprecating way.  I’m more inclined to make fun of myself for my inabilities and if I’ve learned anything from reading Linda’s blog it’s that I should be asking myself why I immediately jump to the conclusion that I can’t/won’t/shouldn’t do something.

I’ve spoken about this a bit on the fitness website I contribute to, My 15 Minutes to Better Fitness that I have special circumstances regarding an old injury that I have to consider when working out.  (If you’re interested in it, it’s under the Andrea Wrote This category.) I’m bound and determined to be a runner, but after going well for a couple weeks, my bum foot would swell to the point where I nearly couldn’t wear shoes, so I’d rest it.  It’d shrink and I’d feel good again, start running again, and boom. Balloon foot.  After three times of this, frustration and bitching to my husband about how I just wanted to run for crying out loud, he very gently (yes, gently, there will be no Mike-bashing today, but stay tuned. I make no promises that I won’t make fun of him in some capacity in the future.) suggested that perhaps if I lost some weight before trying to run that the impact to my bad foot would be less and therefore my foot might be able to handle it if I weigh, say, 150 instead of 210.  He has a point.

So I’ve been researching things to do that have low impact so I can sustain a workout that won’t kill my foot to the point where I have to stop.  I’m playing it by ear, but so far have tried yoga, elliptical machines, and weight machines. When the pools open, perhaps I’ll finally learn to swim (I can only doggy paddle, and drink heavily while floating happily on a noodle) and do some of that.  I have an exercise ball I’m going to blow up tonight.  I may swipe the husband’s bike and go on a ride.

Thing is, I need to believe in myself.  I’ve done some pretty cool things in my life.  I’ve published a poem.  I’ve won writing contests.  I’ve learned to play piano pretty well.  I was a kick ass catcher on a softball team in my teen years, until I blew out a knee.  But all that stuff was done when I was a teenager.  Yes, I was published as a teenager, and by a publishing house, not by a blog software program.  But all my potential has stagnated and I have slothed around enough to get up over 200 pounds and lose all belief that there are awesome things I can do.

I need to prove it to myself again.  I need to believe.  So I’m giving it another go round.  This wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of the Babysitter of Awesome that we now take Daughter, from here on our referred to Renuzit as a result of a shocking and clandestine few minutes left alone in the bathroom, to for our workdays.  This Babysitter of Awesome has earned herself TWO pair of handknit socks in just the two months she’s been watching Renuzit, one for volunteering to take on my stomach bug ridden daughter because four of her six biological children (yes, I said six) also had it.  She took Renuzit so that I wouldn’t miss any more work with the sicknesses.  The second pair comes from our agreement to drop Renuzit off an hour earlier so I can work out before work.  I love her.

I don’t have any pictures for you today.  Maybe if I can get this ball rolling, I will have the nerve to post some before and after pictures when I have some progress to show.  But for now, just my talking about it will have to do.

I’m going after it, that elusive belief in myself, that I can do something other than slut around on the couch with my knitting and the TV.

13
Jan
10

The World of Me

So, there was this laundry mishap that I swear has kept me from getting on the treadmill this week.  Would you believe me if I told you that the inside of my dryer eats clothes?  I mean, more than just the socks most people attribute to the Dryer Monster.  There’s a, well, a rip in our drum , so as clothes thump whump thump whump around in the dryer as it’s running, this snag in the drum catches the clothes and eats them or rips them to shreds.  It’s getting wider, too, to the point where if I didn’t know better, I’d swear the dryer ate my running shorts and dammit, I only have one decent pair of running shorts to my name.  I suppose I could wear the maternity shorts I’ve repurposed into pajama shorts but honestly, though the scale hasn’t moved that much I’m reshaping my body (much like my daughter did during our cohabitation phase, and yet this reshaping expedition is so much harder than sitting on the couch pigging down a bag of Doritos and wondering what kind of ice cream I hadn’t hoovered out of our freezer yet) and my bedshorts as I’ve come to think of them aren’t exactly staying put over the giant pseudo-pregs belly I’ve been sporting since Daughter’s eviction.  Plus, my running shorts are slippery basketball short material, which helps with the Thigh Rubbing Friction Fire most of my other options wuss out on.  The slipperiness also helps with that whole Creeping Northward Giant Cameltoe Experiment most shorts seem to try on me, and aren’t you glad you decided to stop by and read today?  I would panhandle on the side of the road for money to buy Lululemon running pants if their largest size would even cross my thigh threshold, but that’s a goal to be set in the future.

I have been frantically looking for my running shorts for three damn days now.  They’re not in the dryer, nor are they in the load I assumed they were in that’s already folded.  They didn’t get shoved in the wrong drawer, nor did their helpful slipperiness cause them to slip from the correct drawer into another one.  I have torn my dresser apart.  I found a rather, shall we say, ambitiously sized bra and panty (gag, hate that word) set gifted to me by a friend who promised they’d come into good use after my breast reduction, but I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I wasn’t getting a tummy tuck or ass lipo while I was being reduced chesticularly. 

By last night, I was getting desperate, wondering if Daughter repurposed them into a blanket like she repurposes everything: remotes become phones, brushes become microphones, purses become toy chests…  Perhaps I would find my shorts in her closet housing her shoes.  Maybe she stuffed them in the cat house that the cat never uses.  I have looked EVERYWHERE, except of course where the shorts actually RESIDE.

I haven’t touched the treadmill this week.  I am pissed at this turn of events, and a saner person would have given up and purchased another pair of shorts so that running could resume, and that when the first pair turned up, there would be a backup pair or some smart shit like that, right?  But have I mentioned birthday party preparations are in full swing?  I have no money for new running shorts because every penny I can spare (and probably more that I can’t) are being sucked up by this party before I can even imagine spending it on something selfish like clothes that would help me regain my health and vitality, and god aren’t kids just the ultimate sacrifice I grumbled to myself last night as I was watching Biggest Loser where Bob was telling Michael (heaviest contestant ever) that even though his mother fell on her face and broke actual no shit bones rather than risk falling into a swimming pool it was okay if Michael had decided to continue putting his own benefit first by finishing the challenge to avoid a 2 pound penalty at the weigh in instead of going to the hospital with his mother and not finishing the challenge.  Does that theory work if the self improvement involves a massage or skin care products that cost a month’s daycare? No? 

This morning, I dejectedly looked around my closet for the fiftieth time and halfheartedly kicked my workout bag out of the way to see if my shorts were under it, and I thought, “Huh.  That bag felt rather substantial for just having a pair of running shoes and a tube of deodorant in it.”  Upon further inspection, I realized that I owed my kids an apology for resenting that their birthdays costs all my spare monies right after Christmas when I’m the one who planned their gestation period in the first place and I’m just a douche canoe for not getting my workout clothes into the freakin’ laundry in the first place.  Yeah, I suck. 

Tonight, a small load of laundry and perhaps 30 Day Shred after bedtime, if I can hitch up my sleep shorts enough. Tomorrow, the treadmill, full stop. I’ll feel better for it and I know it.  Hey, at least I didn’t lose a whole week.

11
Jan
10

Self-Pep Talk

The ho-hum of life continues humming along in Conniption Land.  We get up, prepare for our weekday exoduses (exodi?) that ferry us to our respective job/school/daycare situations.  We endure.  We eat during prescribed eating times.  We play during prescribed times.  We’re allowed to leave at prescribed times.  Once home, we do dinner and clean up, homework, baths, and bed.  I squeeze in a little knitting before falling asleep, and we lay down only for the alarm to kick on at the beginning of the same thing the next day.

I understand the kids’ lives being dictated in this manner because without a schedule, they become heathens of which there is no stopping their quest for personal gratification, but when did Mike and I submit ourselves to such interference from the powers that be?  It’s revolting.  It’s disheartening.  It’s gross.

It’s also January.

I recognize this time of year as my least favorite.  Perhaps it was my subconscious that set it up so that both my kids were born in January so that I would have something to keep me busy (their combined birthday party next weekend) and help me get through this most trying of months, i.e. their faces as they glut themselves on our family’s generosity in the form of toys upon the toys of Christmas.  Perhaps it was to add some happy into this dreariest of times.  There’s nothing better than fresh new baby when all else seems so bleak and sad.  Despite the limitations of birthday activities in the Month of Icicle, it’s something to which we all look forward.  So, there’s been a hub of activity in my land, from watching sale ads to see who is putting soda on the cheap for Super Bowl a wee early (another timing coup on my part, I do believe) to brainstorming decorations I can make from common everyday items.  Never underestimate the power of Styrofoam. 

We’ve been watching an inordinate amount of TV lately too.  How, without new episodes of Glee, you might ask?  Well, that does leave a pretty bleak wormhole to fill, but we’ve been trying.  We got Uverse a couple months ago and are fully in love with it.  Four shows can record at once. We can watch recorded shows on any TV.  We get Showtime without paying extra.  What’s not to love?  Mike is gorging himself on both the Military Channel and Military History Channel.  If they had a channel named Cojones Engorging Testosterone Fulfilling Big Guns and Machines with some Hero Thrown In, I’d never see him again, for the flicker of the screen would have sucked him in the first week of the new programming schedule.  I’m watching movies, some guilty pleasures (Confessions of a Shopaholic is a horrible movie…that I can’t stop watching. What can I say, I have a weakness for accented men that look good with some five o’clock shadow.)  I’m watching kids’ shows with Son and Daughter.  The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is a new favorite, as well as Race to Witch Mountain, though I will go to my grave swearing it’s for the special effects rather than watching Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock, bulge his arm muscles trying to open various and sundry portals to Earth’s catacombs.  Hubba Hubba.  The Biggest Loser continues to inspire me, infuriate me (why do they insist on bringing people who need help losing weight to the Ranch only to send them home immediately and make them compete to resume their place? That’s like telling a heart patient, here’s your medicine, but hey! you’re going to have to EARN IT, Sit Ubu, sit! Good dog), and move me to tears, but after last season’s contestants I don’t know that I can be as moved by anyone as I was by Abby Rike’s story, losing her whole family in one fell swoop.

I’ve been reading around blogland a bit here and there, watching weight and exercise dustups blow out of proportion.  I’ve been writing at a new site, My 15 Minutes to Better Fitness.  And I’ve been dreaming of warmer weather, busy summer plans, getting out more.  But we always do that.  Our summers are packed to the gills in a way that sometimes gets uncomfortable, both in terms of stamina and wallet strain. 

I feel like it’s all been done.  I don’t want to watch another year pass in the same manner, ho hum.  Taking to heart things that I’ve said lately about my physical lack of fitness and my commitment to doing better, being better, I’m choosing to make this year different than it was last year.  Everyone has their anchor catchphrase that gets them through.  My sister’s is, “It’s not an option to skip working out, to eat junk food.”  Mine has become, “What are my choices? Status quo or better eating/exercising? What will make a difference?” 

I don’t have any answers but I’m hoping that one foot in front of the other, one choice at a time, one decision to get up and moving will be the first and second and third in a chain of decisions that will have me looking back on this time as the beginning of the end of my sloth and the beginning of the beginning of my testing myself, challenging myself, working myself.  Mostly, I want to believe in myself again.  I will believe in myself again.  I want to run a 5K this year, maybe even a 10K.  I want to grow a greater portion of my own food.  I want to have enough to preserve through leaner months.  I want to feed myself and my family healthier.  I want to feel better about the adult I’ve become.  I want to mentally prepare myself for the idea of going back to school for a different degree, something that will shoot my career in a whole different direction.  I want to be someone I can be proud of, instead of a lump on a pickle watching episodes of Biggest Loser while stuffing nachos in my food-hole thinking about someday, maybe when the weather is warmer.

I’m doing it now.  Have been doing it for a few weeks, but I need to keep up the commitment.  January will suck less next year.

31
Dec
09

Beginning…Again

Son eyes me warily but with a twinkle in his eye.  We’re in a standoff, him on one side of the table, me on the other.  Whenever I move, he moves in the opposite direction.  His 37 pounds is lightning fast and I’m gasping for breath, but I haven’t caught him yet.  I ignore the ragged sound and inch a little to my right.  He inches to his right, and we move in circles.  Daughter stands at the room entrance and screeches with glee.  She’s next.

There! His eyes shifted just a little in her direction.  He looks to be planning to dart out the door.  I wait, my fingers splayed and my stance ready for whichever direction he chooses.  He bolts.  Damn, he’s fast.  He squeezes past his sister and into the living room, me hot on his heels as I pursue.  He screeches a laugh of his own.  “You can’t get me,” he taunts.  He’s probably right, but for the fact that I can out think him, which won’t always be the case.  I lunge.  Grab.  Snag his shirt.  He’s off balance, and I take that second to regain my own balance and close the distance.  Yes!  I’ve got him! 

I pin him to the floor, hold his hand high above his head, exposing his tender underarm, and wiggle my finger in there until he’s crying with laughter, begging to be let up, promising the world just for a little tickle relief.  Daughter has climbed on my back, showing her brother that she will stand in solidarity with me, protecting him regardless of the cost to her physically.  I concede to his promises of early bedtime and eating his veggies after I feel I’ve gotten enough childhood belly laughter to recharge my own batteries, and I let him up.  Gently, I peel Daughter from my back so I don’t conk her on the head or set her down too far from a soft landing.  I lay back.  I breathe, in and out.  I’m sucking wind, cannot breathe, my throat on fire and I need some water pronto.  I groan, roll over, get to my knees, brace my hands on the couch and heave.

When did it get so hard to get up from the floor?  When did it get so hard to have a tickle fight with my kid?  When did I get so out of shape?  When did Orville Redenbacher move into my joints, making them pop pop pop popopopopopoPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOP when I stretch or exert?  Nasty squatter. 

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“McDonald’s! I wanna go to McDonald’s for dinner!”  This from the backseat as we pass the Golden Arches while we’re out and about.  We look at the time.  We know that our errands will take us through the time we’d normally be cooking something, so a home prepared meal means not eating until after 8 pm.  We look at each other.  We don’t want McD’s again.  We’re sick of McD’s.  Daughter chimes in, “Frrrrriiiiiiiieeeeeessss.”

Great.  She has a total lexicon of about 10 words, and one of them is fries.  Might as well not worry about her saying ‘shit’ or ‘douche canoe’ too.  Perhaps we can get her a carton of cigarrettes for her birthday on Sunday and teach her how to flick a Bic while we’re at it.  After all, while fries aren’t necessarily carcinogenic, they are in no way a healthy thing to eat.  What are we teaching our kids?

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I sit at my desk, feet propped up on my CPU.  I stare blankly at the report I’m looking at.  The same report I’ve done every month for 8 years and three months.  That’s 12 times a year, 8 years, 96 times, plus 3 months, 99 times I’ve done the same report.  I’m the only one in my department who can do the report with any consistency.  It is the reason I have a job, and also the reason I was given a good raise a couple years ago, moreso than average anyway.  But god, if the procedure hasn’t become boring.  What’s so fulfilling about telling a man who inherited millions and a company and didn’t spend one hour in college how much richer he’s gotten that month when, after nearly 10 years, I’m still trying to pay college off?  I curse my mother for not marrying a wealthy business owner.  Then I think of my father, a lawyer and a good man, oxymoron like Captain Jack Sparrow .  He used to take all kinds of payments, knowing his clients couldn’t always afford cash money.  He’s received cookware, a boat, a car, stocks, and all manner of bartered items.  He’s gone to visit clients in the hospital because in their divorce, they’ve alienated everyone they know and he’s the only friendly face they have left.  He’s waived fees for those who truly can’t pay.  He loans his personal vehicles to clients who have no other means to travel when their only living relatives are out of state.  I don’t know that I would trade my dad for a bank account.  But I realize as I sit counting my beans/inventory/standards and variances that I am just a cog in a wealthy man’s grandfather clock, and not a very important one at that.  Except for this report, which honestly, doesn’t move me.  I open the file, save as a new month and begin the report again for the hundredth time.  And daydream of one day finding a purpose to my career beyond making the rich get richer.

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My alarm blares.  I groan and squint.  5:00 am.  I roll over and sleep for nine more minutes.  It blares again.  Snooze.  Snooze.  Snooze.  Finally, Mike nudges me about getting up since he doesn’t have to get up until 7, when I’m herding the kids out the door.  He used to snooze for an hour (using the same alarm I do, so I’d be the one hitting his snooze.  For years this went on.  I see nothing wrong with a little payback now that he gets to sleep a little later before anyone judges harshly.)  Finally, at 6 I drag my butt out of bed.  My limbs feel utterly incapable of propelling me through the next hour, let alone the day.  It’s only when the spray from the shower hits my face that I truly begin to wake.  Why am I so tired all the time?  I scrutinize myself cruelly in the mirror.  Never did lose that baby weight, but who’m I kidding?  I was this weight before I had my kids.

——————————————————————–

I sit on the floor, my face puffy and swollen, my nose completely clogged.  I cannot talk without a nasally tone, making my words sound more pathetic to my ears.  Mike sits on the bed, his arms crossed, his body half turned away from me.  Look at him, I think.  He couldn’t be more obvious about not wanting to be near me now.  We’ve spat words at each other with such venom and anger that someting inside me broke, releasing a flood of tears.  This isn’t the life I thought I’d have.  This isn’t what I want for myself, and by extension, my family.  His words, “You’re mad all the time,” echo in my head.  I’m miserable.  I can barely drag myself out of bed in the mornings.  I hate my job.  I have a coworker that hates my guts and the feeling is mutual.  But The Crazy sits next to me and the tension wraps itself around me like a slanket/snuggie, making me grumble at the stupidity of the entire situation and I would like to stand up and shout that I’m not this person I’m accused of being.  But much like the stupidity of the slanket, it’s viral and spreading, and I can only ride it out and choose to ignore it while I continue on with my day.  By the time I get home, I’m such a miserable wreck that I snap at my kids.  I snap at my husband.  I make everyone feel as miserable as I am.  I am dragging everything down.  I can’t keep up with my kids when I do find the time/energy to play with them.  I sniffed at my clogged nose, pleaded with Mike not to pack a bag and leave for a few days to let things cool down.  I opened my chest, ripped out my heart, and handed it to him again.  I promised that with understanding of my emotions and what they were doing to me and those around me can come change.  I promised him I would not live a miserable life.  He stayed.

All of this began in October with a crashing realization that this horribleness was avoidable.  There were some financial implications for us that brought everything to a head, ripped the scabs we’d built up over and over off and forced us to take a true look at ourselves, our lives together, and our future.  Mine felt so bleak and awful that I well and truly, for the first time ever, felt hatred for myself and what I’ve let myself become.  They say everyone has a rock bottom.  I hit mine.

With this opening up of long mistreated wounds, I started takin a deeper look at things.  One of the biggest reasons I’m so off the charts miserable all the time is my job.  I looked into going back to school.  I looked at what the local area colleges have to offer and what I might be interested in pursuing.  As I realized that I’d be going back into serious debt and wouldn’t emerge with a new degree for many years, it occurred to me that at this point in our  financial lives, we cannot afford for me to return to school.  I know there are programs, grants, aid that we could get, but frankly, admitting I want to change careers is hard enough, and I don’t want to rush into a new career without truly wanting to study and love it.  I have more soul searching to do to find what I wanna be when I grow up.

The next big thing making me miserable is my health.  If I can improve my health, perhaps my job and career choice won’t seem like such a death sentence to me.  Perhaps if other aspects of my life are improved, I will be able to appreciate the stability of my job and not let the drudgery bog me down.  After all, I bet insurance agents, or house painters, or assembly line workers aren’t all passionate about what they do 100% of the time.  And yet there is pride to be had there too. 

So that’s what’s on my plate.  I’ve already written about eating in a more environmentally sustainable manner.  What I’ve only briefly touched on is that I’ve started running.  On a treadmill.  No one’s chasing me.  No one’s holding’ a gun to my head and saying if I don’t run this mile and a half they’ll filet my dog.  I’m voluntarily getting off my ass and getting some exercise.  It’s slow going.  I think I might have the start of shin splints.  Maybe I have the wrong shoes.  I’ve found some kickass running music (but hey, I’ll take any suggestions anyone might have)!  I’m learning.  I’m actually thinking of running a 5K.  I wanted to last year but slacked off after a couple weeks on the treadmill.  I don’t know if I’ve lost any weight.  In the past, I’ve become a slave to the scale and so this time, I’m not letting anythin deter me.  Weirdly, I’m liking running enough that the point of it (to lose weight) has changed some, so that I can get fit, and accomplish something.  Tell my brain to stfu when it scoffs and says I can’t run that much.  Well, 2010 is coming.  And instead of resolutions which I’ve failed at many many times, I’m just making choices.  What would I have done before?  Is that going to help me change my health?  Is that going to help me change my job?  Is that going to help me change my outlook?

This time, I’m choosing to be better.  Here’s to a new year.

15
Dec
09

Not So Inert Afterall

Emily Gomol was kind enough to invite me to be a contributing writer over at My 15 Minutes to Fitness.  My first post is up over there if you’re so inclined.  Please to be inclined.  I’m nervous.  But I didn’t want to belabor my knitting blog with life change stuff but I will always link to my posts over there for those who are interested.  I’m still around, still knitting, just not good at getting pictures posted (or even taken) and don’t have much to say except miles of garter stitch in the form of a log cabin blanket and a baby blanket log cabin style.  Yeah, I’m sparing you.  You’re welcome.




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