since I left my job at our company before I got bored. I debate finding a job but realized that wouldn’t work (more on that later). I’ve kept myself busy at the gym, and I really don’t want to give that up. However, I need a purpose. I need something to work towards and think about during my down time. As I pondered this, I realized that I have LOTS of incomplete projects laying around the house. The tiny, tiny house that cannot handle supplies for abandoned projects.
So here we go…I’m going to try to use an abandoned project (this blog) to document some of my attempts to finish my other forgotten ideas. We’ll see.
In a recent conversation with a friend, I mentioned that I take medication for anxiety and depression. My friend was floored. She always thought I was zen and never bothered by anything. This new revelation changed her mental picture of me and who I was, and, in a way, I think it helped her feel a bit better about herself. Like most folks, she compares herself to others, and due to some self esteem issues, she feels that she falls a bit short.
But that got me to thinking. People often have misconceptions of other people. They hold them in high regard or complete disregard without knowing the true pictures. It’s easy to forget that all the thoughts and emotions that swirl in your own head also swirl around in the head of every person you encounter throughout your day. Yes, even the lady working the DMV or the barista at the coffee shop has thoughts and feelings while they renew your tags or make your coffee. Unless they are very good at meditating on their jobs, but I doubt that’s the case considering how difficult it is to meditation while alone in a quiet room.
I decided I wanted to start a project. One that allows me to get raw, share my feelings, let people know who I am. Hopefully, I will inspire someone else to do the same. It may not be in a blog, but it might be in an every day life situation. So I’m setting my timer for ten minutes. I’m allowing myself to make grammatical mistakes, and I’m going to write about me.
I figure my anxiety is the best place to start. I think my anxiety stems from my struggle with perfectionism. As a child, I really had a hard time with making mistakes. For me, making a mistake shows a weakness - something someone can tease you about - and I REALLY hate feeling vulnerable to teasing. Thankfully, I’ve overcome a lot of that need for perfection. Some has come with time. Some with experience. Some with spending time with my mother-in-law (who has no fear of making a mistake). But the anxiety I haven’t kicked. A lot of it involves being late. I loathe being late. I like to be early, freakishly early, because it allows me to avoid that panicky rushed feeling.
Another thing that sets of my anxiety is excess noises. Ticking sounds. Tapping of Fingers. Dogs barking excessively. Kids making obnoxious persistent sounds. That pretty much sums out the sounds of my house, right? I’m probably a noise pollution tyrant. I try really hard, but Chris’s constant drumming along with the song stuck in his head can drive me bananas.
Once I get annoyed with those types of things, it gets really internalized. I don’t know how other people feel when they’re anxious, but I can feel it from my brain to my chest. I get worked up in the cyclone, and it’s hard to stop it. It’s not a thought, it’s a feeling. It’s not just a distraction. It takes over my body, and it sucks.
Thankfully, with the help of medication, I only get that way around my period. There are other times, but it’s not bad. I’ve wondered if I would be okay without medication, but I’m not sure I’m afraid that will turn my family into cannon fodder. Let’s just not go there.
I get raped every day, or at least it feels like it. At least once a day, I see a man staring at me with a lecherous look on his face. Before you think I’m conceited, let me explain.
I know I’m an attractive. I don’t think I’m gorgeous or God’s gift to men. But I do workout to maintain a trim figure and make an effort to wear clothes that flatter me. The thing is that I do this for me. Looking nice (not slutty) is a confidence booster. Please don’t misunderstand me. I know all guys look at women. My husband, my dad, my friends. Whether they’ll admit it or not, they do. And honestly, I don’t care as long as it’s done discreetly. If I catch you, divert your eyes and pretend you were just looking around. That’s cool. Women do it to other women and pretend that we don’t.
My problem is the perverted assholes. The one that stared at me HARD in his side mirror and licked his lips today while stopped at a red light. (And I had a male passenger in the front seat.) Or the guy that hung out of his Jeep as he drove past me while I was running with my 50lb dog. And the guy who tried to film me walking by when I was on my first date with Chris. (Chris noticed too, yelled at them, and flicked his cigarette towards them.) Those guys are assholes. They make me feel uncomfortable and violated. How exactly do they expect me to respond? What confident woman would want that attention or the person giving it?
I recently decided I was going to start fighting back. Chris asked me what the point was, and I told him that I wanted my power back because those men make me feel powerless. Then it hit me – just like rape, this is about power. Please don’t be offended – I know rape is a million times worse and a horrific, traumatizing experience. When these perverts look at me, I feel sick to my stomach. I feel angry, powerless, and violated. But be warned, I will acknowledge what you are doing, yell at you, flip you off, make revolted faces at you in response. Maybe you’ll get a rise out of that, but I don’t care. It’s not about you anymore; it’s about me. If I feel like I’m in charge of myself, that’s all that matters.
Today I didn’t clean anything. I also didn’t do a craft or learning activity with the kid.
Here’s what I did do: 1. Taught 9am yoga class. Managed to get me and Cecilia out the door and to the gym with 5 minutes to spare. Some speeding involved. 2. Shopped for flowers at Home Depot with the kid. Let her pick out her own flowers. Couldn’t resist a couple tomato and pepper plants. Remembered that I had a $5 off coupon in my email. Still spent just over $50. 3. Unloaded plants. 4. Picked up Chris and had lunch at Jason’s Deli. Again, kid in tow. 5. Walked around downtown with Cecilia. Window shopped most of the time. Splurged on a $10 for her Calico Critter collection. 6. Arrived home. Cleaned up puppy poop and pee deposited by our three foster puppies. 7. Opened new toy and helped girl set it up. 8. Transplanted some seedlings that were started indoor two months ago. Also planted new tomato and pepper. 9. Planted flowers with Cecilia, which included a conversation on how boys are not stronger than girls. (Sometimes we don’t need anatomically correct definition.) 9. Changed girl into dance clothing. 10. Chiropractor appointment. 11. Dance class. 12. Made dinner. 13. Consumed dinner. (If you have a child, you know this deserves it’s own number.) 14. Watered garden with Cecilia’s assistance. 15. Walked chubby dachshund.
So after all that, I feel bad because I didn’t clean or teach my child. This is the definition of mom guilt.
It’s that time of year again when I get to play a nightly game of “Is that a mole, or is that a tick?” I would like to apologize to all the beauty marks that have been harmed.
Why, hello there, long abandoned blog.
I could write the standard little bit about why I haven’t blogged and how I resolved to blog more. But, you know, it’s just a bunch of bullshit and hot air. Let’s get down the real reason I’ve gotten around to writing again.
I try really hard to keep my weight in the normal or healthy range, based on my BMI. Since I spend several hours at the gym, a lot of folks assume that I stay fit through exercise. While that is a contributing factor, maintaining a healthy weight is more about the food you put in your mouth than what you do with your body. (Unless you’re one of those freaks with a high metabolism, but we won’t talk about those assholes.) Another question I get, especially after explaining the food/exercise effect, is about what I eat, especially since my family and I indulge in dining out a little too much. (Okay, a lot too much.)
That’s where the blog is going to fit in. I’m going to try to post pictures of what I eat while eating out. It might get boring after a while since we tend to frequent the same restaurants pretty regularly. We like to stick to places where there are healthier options for things that we like.
Without further explaination, I give you just what the heck I eat.
Today, obviously, was New Years. Chris had a lunch meeting (life of a CEO), and Cecilia and I were on our own for lunch. There was no food in the house. Lucy had RUNNOFT and by the time she came back, it was too late to go to the grocery to remedy the bare cupboard situation. Off we went to find a restaurant that was open. Much to my surprise, it was difficult!
Cecilia requested chicken noodle soup, which is a current favorite, and thankfully Panera was open. Panera is one of my favorite places because the calorie information is printed next to the menu on the wall. Talk about being forced to face your choice!
I ordered the “Pick 2″ with a half Greek salad (dressing on the side) and half tuna salad sandwich with an apple and an unsweet tea (with a splash of sweet to cut down on the bitter). Cecilia had her chicken noodle soup with a baguette and a low fat milk.
I actually didn’t use the dressing. I like to add a bit of salt to my salad, and between the salt and the feta, it didn’t need any dressing. By the time I was done inhaling my salad, I wasn’t very hungry so I just at the guts of my sandwich. I wanted the protein, but I didn’t want the overfull feeling from the bread. The apple went in my purse for an afternoon snack.
I’m not sure I’ll include a caloric breakdown of every meal, especially since the information won’t be available at some restaurants, but today I will.
Half Greek Salad (no dressing), approximately 75 calories, 5 g fat, 6.5g carb, 3.5g protein
Tuna Salad Sandwich (no bread), approximately 105 calories, 5g fat, 5g carb, 10.5g protein.
I left feeling very full and very happy
In addition to watching my restaurant eating, you can watch my food/exercise log on Daily Burn. I haven’t been using it consistently over the holidays since the entire family was sick with a nasty cold, but prior to that, I was very dedicated to logging! I’ve returned to logging today, and hopefully, tomorrow will return to the gym.
Though I don’t regularly post to the blog, I haven’t given up on completing my to-do list, which includes:
#63. Become a runner
It’s a goal that I keep coming back to time and time again.
Earlier this year, my bff asked me to join her for a run after school. She had an extra jogging stroller, and it would be a great way to get in some socializing, exercising, and kiddo time all at the same time. I was coming off a nagging sciatic injury, and she was suffering through knee problems. We both couldn’t run far, couldn’t run up or down hills, and loved to talk (which doesn’t suit well with panting). Match made in heaven.
Then her knee issues got worse, which eventually lead to double knee surgery. My sciatic issues, which was caused piriformis syndrome (aka my big butt made my leg hurt), actually got better. Basically, she was out for months, and I had no excuse to stop exercising. I returned to the gym, but it just wasn’t the same. The place I once found comfort in 4-5 days a week felt so closed and lonely. I missed the outside. I missed the company. I missed the challenge. Suddenly the machines that kept me energized and fit for five years felt like prison.
So one day, I got up the courage to run outside by myself.
Okay, I know that might seem weird. I mean, I’m so brazen. Why would something as innate as running scare me? Our prehistoric ancestors ran. Toddlers run (sort of). Dogs run. Everyone knows how to run, right? I was intimidated by the other runners. I was afraid that would know that I wasn’t one of them.
What to know the truth? They probably do know.
I’m pretty slow. When running, I run about a 9 minute mile. Wait, that seems fast. Well, it is fast until you realize that I can’t really run a full mile without stopping to walk for a bit. Combined walking/running, I have a pace of 12 minute mile. If you ask any non-runner, that’s fast. They’re usually impressed that I try to run 5k three times a week.
Real runners run a 7 minute mile, without stopping, for miles and miles. I have one friend that runs about 80 miles a week. WTF, right? Yeah. She’s not even my fastest friend. (Full disclosure - my fastest friend use to run professionally and completed in the Olympic trials after having her third child. Again, WTF.)
Here’s the thing I’ve figured out. To non-runners, I’m a runner. They’re impressed. To runners? Well, they know I’m not the fastest gal and I probably won’t (and shouldn’t) join their running club. But this is the thing - “real” runners don’t care or judge me. In fact, they are incredibly encouraging and always really helpful.
So despite the fact I’ll never be a competitive runner, I’m going to keep going. In fact, I’ve signed up for my first race - a 5k in August that supports Down’s Syndrome. After that race, I’m going to cross number 63 off my to-do list.
A couple years ago I spent a couple months on a pescetarian diet. Inspired by my yoga training, it was an interesting experiment to see if I could eventually transition to a vegetarian diet. It was hard, and I gave in a couple times along the way (pulled pork - who can resist?). Eventually I knew my body wanted MEAT or, at the least, more protein. Plus I was really struggling to balance eating only fish and feeding a family who was not.
Despite my failed attempt to clean up my carnivore diet, I did learn something along the way - a little bit of self-deprivation is good for the soul. Denying myself delicious things taught me a lot about my mind-body connection. It felt empowering to be in control. It was a truly spiritual connection. In fact, self denial is a reoccurring them throughout many religions. Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the desert fasting (and then tempted by Satan). The Buddha fasted for 49 days during his quest for enlightenment. In Judaism, Yom Kippur is used as a day of fasting and meditation. Considered one of the most holy days of the year, it’s a day for prayer and penance. By removing food, you remove distraction and are forced to focus deeper on your spiritual pursuits.
It sounds like I’m going to fast, huh? Well, I’m not. I find it an amazing and noble cause, but it’s not for me - at least not this stage in the game. But, what I am going to do, is try to cut out meat again. This time, however, I’ve got Chris on board. First we’re going to eat down our supply of meat in the deep freezer, which shouldn’t take too long, and try our best to make vegetarian choices at lunch. It won’t be easy, especially since we eat out most weekday lunches, but should be a good challenge for our will power. I’m looking forward to feeling both powerful and frustrated at the same time. Here’s hoping!
With that said - anyone have any good tofu recipes?
There are some things from my youth that I remember vividly, like teen angst and having a broken heart. Over the years, I’ve thought about lots of things I’d like to teach my daughter before she reaches those trying years. I realize some lessons she’s just going to have to learn herself, but hopefully I can help avoid some pain, even if it’s just the smallest amount. Now that I have a daughter, I figured I’d better start writing these lessons down before I forget some of them. Hopefully, there will be a lot of these…
Surround yourself with people who lift you up at all times and restore you and comfort you in your time of need. Show them great kindness, love, and forgiveness during their times of need. And never waste your time with people who are reckless with your heart.
Our dogs get the pleasure of eating fancy dog food that is considered human-grade with no fillers, dyes, or additives. Our cats? Whatever is on sale at the grocery store. Sometimes I feel guilty. The poor things spend all their time outside, but then I remember that they have access to as much free-range, organic food as they want. Proof? The mostly eaten rabbit carcass they deposited in the mudroom yesterday. Yep. I think they’re doing just fine.