"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Archive for February, 2020

Off Course

This week was a slog in some ways. I jumped off the rails of all my great, healthy habits. I didn’t work out much, I didn’t meal prep much because I had meals out several times for work, I have not felt 100%.

I know it’s normal to hit some bumps, but my detour isn’t so much my mindset, but more physical. I’m pooped all the time. I have been light-headed for over a week. It makes exercise really difficult. It also wears on you mentally and it has been bringing me down a little.

As you know, I am not one to allow that kind of BS. I googled some things and I think I have the answer. Hypothyroidism. Very mild, but the symptoms are increasing. My thyroid tests from my physical had come back slightly high, but the doc wasn’t concerned and said we would re-test in 3 months. I sent her an email requesting an Endocronologist referral. Let’s get this shit figured out. All my symptoms are consistent with hypothyroidism. Ugh – an old lady problem- LOL. I silently winced when my fave work friend said her mom had it.

Anyway, I need to be kind to myself. I woke up this morning full of things I want/need to do: taxes, cleaning, grocery shopping, meal prep, exercise. Instead I am soaking in some delicious sun rays and reminding myself to prioritize. One of the top priorities- coffee. A really good cup of coffee.

Mean Girl?

I have the opportunity to be really mean.  As in cutting, dismissive and outright nasty.  Should I take it?  The fact that I am writing about this and hesitating to seize the opportunity perhaps gives me my answer. I asked myself my favorite question, “What result do I want from this?” The answer is somewhere along the lines of revenge and Karma having her day.  Nothing positive.  Nothing good.  Just me being petty and nasty. Plus I probably won’t even get to be confrontational and nasty to the evil person himself, perhaps just his partner, who use to have a kind soul.

The kinder one reached out to me via LinkedIn messaging.  He congratulated me on my new role (9 months old now, so to me this is old news).  He tied my employer to his through various projects the two companies have done together.  Good sales technique, however, I have been fully aware of the connections for quite some time.  He has no role in these partnership decisions.  He mentioned a year-old acquisition (again, old news). Now he wants a phone call.  I agreed and said send me an invite, that was yesterday so he is about to lose the two windows I provided just because I want him to feel the scheduling angst.  A girl can’t be too available. As I wait, I think about him and his partner.

I first met this kinder guy when he was just out of college and trying to launch.  Nice, personable, always asking about my kids and letting me chatter on about them.  He worked really hard and grew his career, however, I began hearing things from colleagues about his lack of ethics.  Not good things.  Then he joined forces with his partner, a man I absolutely despise.  

The partner is so sleazy.  He slept with my rookie.  I had told her never to date colleagues, but she succumbed to his insistent pursuit.  Once he had her, he dumped her.  I could have told her that, but I’m not her mom.  He would then ask about her whenever he saw me.  I swear to you it was merely so he could remind me he fucked her.  If you saw his smarmy smile when he asked, you would agree.

The partner and I were on a call one day and he didn’t like the news I was delivering, so he proceeded to verbally abuse me.  Called me second-rate, compared me to an absolutely horrible person and was absolutely awful.  I hung up on him.  Nobody likes him.  He has no integrity.  He’s a sleaze.

Now they want business from my company.  Really?  I have a mile long list of other options and they were never even a consideration.  Yes, they work for a prestigious company.  One I worked at for a decade before getting canned.  They throw the company’s prestige around, but sometimes you don’t need an elephant to do the job, a mule is just fine or even a donkey.

What will I do when he calls?  I don’t know.  I will say no thank you, we are happy with our current provider.  I will listen, but I will not be swayed.  I will do the call so I can say no verbally and not through some LinkedIn messaging.  I will be the better person.  Sigh.  Yes, I will not allow the bitter, angry thoughts to manifest themselves.  Nothing good will come of that.  Instead, I will write and release it all here.  Damn, being the better person sometimes isn’t much fun, but I know I will sleep much better and score some points with Karma.  I can always use the bonus points.

Pause

I am pooped.  I have kept up a 5-day a week workout routine, meal prepping each weekend, and a steady social calendar with 2+ events a week for two months.  It has worn me out to be honest.  Here I sit on Sunday night with no meal prepping, no laundry, no house cleaning (this is my scheduled weekend) and nothing particularly productive to show for myself.

The Hunter came over Saturday night and we made a great dinner, smoked a little weed, had a fabulous romp and all around fun evening.  Then we got up somewhat early to take a hike and then a long drive around the woods.  The day was mild and beautiful so it was wonderful being outdoors.  However, when we returned, we both were worn out.

I am getting plenty of sleep, my diet (until the past 24 hours) has been healthy and plant-heavy.  I am moving my body regularly and we can see results.  I think I worked my poor abs too hard this week and it made me feel like I had a stomach ache for two days.  LOL.  Getting old sucks.

Part of me has been wanting a break from all this healthy stuff.  I made a chocolate cake from scratch for the Hunter and ended up eating more than he did.  Sigh.  I challenged myself to eat from my freezer for February and that has been quite successful in using up a bunch of stuff.  I am just tired.  Tired of going to work every day, tired of cooking, tired of the same old, same old.  I need a little break.  I am not unhappy with my routines, I just want a little variety perhaps.

My meetups have been a lot of fun.  I did a Trivia night where I found people far smarter than me, I went painting with girls from work and that was fun.  I have never painted a picture and I really enjoyed it.  This week I am having dinner with a girlfriend, a work dinner and a Saturday horse show.  I think I have one more outing.  That is more than enough.

I think what I am looking for is some balance.  I am close to having it, but I am not quite there.  I still have paperwork to be done, photos to be sorted and basic drudgery (LOL). When I get home in the evenings after work, I am simply not in the mood. I am tuckered out and just want to veg.

The good news is I am finding social things to do and plenty of them.  I think that friends will follow as I continue with these groups.  This is a major 2020 goal and I am making progress.  I am making great progress with my exercise routine.  I have made serious inroads on my health check-ups.  My general physical, blood work and gyn checkup are completed.  I have my mammogram scheduled and next up are the optometrist and dermatologist.

Gee whiz, it’s only February and I am kicking butt.  No wonder I am pooped.  Once again, I just need to be patient.  Patient with settling into my new life and developing new routines, patient with when I run out of steam and just general patience with me overall. I think an early bedtime this week will do me a world of good.  Sweet dreams….

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Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Cooked

I’m reading Michael Pollan’s book, Cooked. Fascinating. I also heard his recent interview on Fresh Air about his new Audible book, Caffeine. What he writes/thinks about food has always resonated with me. I discovered him when I read Omnivore’s Dilemma.

In his Fresh Air interview, he summed up his dietary habits in a haiku.

Eat food

Not too much

Mostly plants

That is also my plan in a nutshell. I am proud of myself these days. I have gone to the gym every week day for over 6 weeks. My None2Run training for the April 5k is about to hit the halfway mark and I am achieving those goals. I have increased my water consumption, decreased my food intake and think/plan before eating. I have talked myself out of bad choices for the most part.

I cook more now than at any other time in my life. I enjoy it. Most of my cooking is on the weekends with podcasts going. I am trying a plethora of new recipes. This weekend I made a vegan chicken salad out of chickpeas and raw cashews. Surprisingly delicious. I enjoy planning my meals and challenging myself in multiple ways such as new tastes, create meals from my freezer and/or frig for a week or two.

My body is responding albeit slowly. But slowly means it is gone for good. I remind myself of this as I watch others in our work weight loss challenge drop weight like crazy. I hear the ridiculous restrictions and know that they won’t be able to maintain it. None of them are incorporating exercise like me. I am the tortoise and they are the hare. Let’s see who’s cooked 3 months from now.

F#*king Weight

I was looking at my little weight loss notebook last week as I noted my weight and measurements (steady downward trend, thank you very much).  I flipped through the pages and then I jumped into MyFitness Pal which I have used intermittently since 2011.  I separated from my Ex in June 2013.  In August 2013, I weighed 194.4.  Today I am 202.

Between 2013 and today my weight has been as low as 162 to as high as 210.  Roughly a 100 pound swing.  Ugh.  Un-fucking-believable.

What happened?  Oh, I know what happened.

  1. Stress:  Ugh, all the work stress of trying to crank up my own company, trying to juggle my meager finances, being the primary breadwinner, realizing I was not making money and living beyond my means.  The stress of job hunting and figuring out my next career move.  Yeah, all that stress resulted in me feeding my emotions.  Nothing like sugar (and alcohol) to get a good solid dopamine hit when you are depressed.  Add in some cannabis to get the munchies cranked up and we’ve got a solid party going on….
  2. I stopped going to the gym.  Ugh, worse thing for me.  I got lazy and enjoyed snuggling with the Hunter.  Later the walks with him and the Kracken were nice, but not enough.  I need solo, dedicated workout time.  I need strength/resistance training to build my muscles and keep my metabolism chugging along at a decent clip. Yes, I know lots of weight loss experts say it is primarily diet, but I need the metabolism boost due to my sedentary work.
  3. The Hunter’s cooking.  Yes, I loved his cooking, however, he is a “meat & potatoes” guy.  Fries food, heavy carbs, red meat, processed meats.  I clearly remember very early in our relationship thinking “Oh dear, will I be OK with this?”  Clearly the answer is NO.

Now I don’t want anyone to think I am blaming the Hunter for my weight gain.  It is 110% my fault.  I put the food in my mouth and became a couch potato.  I needed to advocate more for myself in certain situations.  I let him reign in the kitchen because I enjoyed being taken care of, however, the result was not good for me.

These days I cook all of my food.  I mean all and from scratch.  I have very few processed foods if any.  I very rarely eat out because a) it’s expensive right now and b) I need to monitor and control what I am eating.  My sugar cravings are virtually gone.  I don’t want cookies or sweets.  I had a small container of ice cream in my freezer since November,  I barely touched it and finally chucked it out a couple of weeks ago.  I have 1-2 chocolate squares after dinner and that’s fine for dessert.  I don’t want more.  My veggie and fruit consumption has increased dramatically.  The past two weeks I reduced my carbs and saw immediate results.

I need to live alone for awhile.  Quite awhile.  I need the control of my environment.  I need to stick to my new steady habits.  This is working.

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Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash

 

Hitting Home

I just finished “Evvie Drake Starts Over” by Linda Holmes.  Wow. Loved it.  Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down.  Chick Lit that hit home.  Evvie’s marriage was so much like mine that it hurt at times.

She was leaving her husband, literally, when she got the phone call he was in a car accident that ended up being fatal.  I am ashamed to confess that I dreamed many a night of my Ex dying in a DUI accident when he stayed out late drinking.

Her husband was charming to everyone, mine often was as well.  Everyone thought their marriage was perfect.  Mine also.  So many similarities.  His temper, his denial of basic facts. She was also a self-confessed “fixer” -someone intent on fixing others rather than working on herself.  Guilty.

She didn’t want to tell others her feelings because of her rocky relationship with her husband.  Same.  I still keep things pent up and don’t share much with the outside world.  I put much more inner truth on this blog than anywhere else and there are still a few things I am not blogging about these days.

People think I am an open book because I will chatter on about my life, day-to-day stuff, but rarely will I spout about my feelings.  Nope, not sharing.  Between my borderline personality mother, absentee father and emotionally abusive husband, I keep my inner feelings locked up tight where I occasionally take them out to look at and then usually stuff them back inside.  Not the healthiest thing to do and I need to do better.

The book left me thinking and spending today listening to the Avett Brothers.  I got out of the shitty marriage.  I am safe.  I am happy.  I am oh so blessed these days.  Time to unpack the emotions and let them have some room to show themselves.  It’s OK.

Get the book.  It is much lighter than perhaps I am describing it.  I need to put Maine on my bucket list for sure….

evvie

It’s Over

I am done with the Tax Man.  He is completely paid off and even returned a $500 over-payment which I promptly put towards my last credit card.  I will be debt free within 60 days if not sooner.  Wow.

I ran my budget numbers.  Until my stipend to my son is completed (mid-year 2021) and I pay off the final credit card, I am still on a strict budget.  However, the end is near.  I just transferred some money to my online savings account.  I am dropping money in it every month now to pay for some once-a-year payments (insurances mostly) along with slowly building up my emergency funds.  I feel safe.  What a feeling — I am not use to that.

How do you celebrate not owing Uncle Sam anymore?  Without spending – LOL.  I think a nice dinner at home with a lovely glass of wine will do nicely as I rent another Oscar-nominated movie.  Last night I watched “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”.  Thoroughly enjoyed it.  I think “Parasite” is up next.

Thank you, dear Karma, for leading me to this new chapter.  I am truly grateful.

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Photo by Anastasiia Rozumna on Unsplash

I Found My Rhythm

Life is settling into a pleasant routine these days. I hit the gym in the morning and my running program hasn’t killed me yet. I rarely eat out, so my food choices are always planned and under control for the most part. Work got busy with an unexpected project that has an impossible deadline. I am not stressed or worried – I am enjoying the challenge.

MeetUp in this area is actually pretty good. One last week was a fiasco, but another was lovely. I have several more coming up, so I feel like my social life is kicking off nicely. I am bumping into people who are very familiar with my company, which is a reminder that I am living in a small town, so my words matter.

Life is good. I wish I was losing weight faster because I was in the bottom third of the weight loss challenge. But then I remind myself that it doesn’t really matter because I am losing weight each week. I just need to be patient. Plus I am getting stronger and I really feel that progress. I had a physical and bloodwork done. My cholesterol is a bit high (some of it, the good ones are fine). I think it is related to my weight because I am not eating processed foods. Glucose is fine, sodium fine, etc., so I just need to once again be patient and allow my body to heal.

The Hunter has been really busy with work, so I haven’t seen much of him. It’s been OK because I have enjoyed having time to myself lately. I have been slowly working on going through all the damn photos. Right now I am sorting with some tossing. Good grief, there is a lot. Plus I found a shoebox of videos. I bought a used VCR for $9 at Goodwill so I can see if any are worth converting to digital. I need an adapter, so I can’t watch them yet.

What has been interesting about the photos is the flood of memories as I sort them. I intentionally avoided this project for years for just that reason – I simply didn’t have the emotional capacity to process all of it. Now I do, but in stages. It has been enjoyable for the most part, but it’s a messy project with lots of shoeboxes filled with loose photos. Ugh.

Life is good and I am grateful.

My Bucket List

I started my travel bucket list and wanted to blog about it, so I don’t forget 🙂  Here we go in no particular order:

  1. Alaska:  A small ship cruise combined with a train.  I want to see it all.  I have wanted to see Alaska for many, many years.
  2. Napa Valley:  Good food, good wine and add in something along the Pacific Coast Highway.  A trip filled with beauty, relaxation, maybe some spa time?
  3. Italy:  Ah, Italy.  You have been on my bucket list for longer than Alaska.  Venice is a must.  The Amalfi coast, Puglia, Milan, Florence, Rome, Tuscany.  This may need to be two trips.  Walking through Tuscany, exploring Amalfi and Puglia.  I am enthralled with a long, leisurely exploration of that country.
  4. Greek Isles:  another small boat cruise through that beautiful area of the Mediterranean.
  5. France:  Provenance, Versailles.  I have explored Paris, but to wander its streets again would be lovely.
  6. Costa Rica:  the country fascinates me.
  7. Hawaii:  Not the touristy stuff, the cool nature stuff.
  8. Vancouver Island:  Butchart Gardens and just exploring that area of the Pacific Northwest.  I have been to Seattle and Vancouver, but I want to explore more.
  9. Take the train across Canada.  That has always fascinated me.
  10. Take the train across the US Rockies.
  11. Go to a cool, picturesque mountain/winter town for a snow holiday.  European, Canadian — something that looks right out of a postcard.
  12. Thailand – maybe, the beauty is amazing.
  13. Iguazu Falls in Brazil – I have been to Brazil three times and never made it to the falls.  I have really wanted to see them.
  14. Maine in the summer or a Fall cruise (I enjoy small cruises).

Now that I sit down to write this, my list isn’t impossible.  I started sputtering out after #10.  Maybe I will add to this.  Places like England and Ireland interest me, but the list above gets me headed in the right direction.

My idea is that my first big trip for this reset of my life would either be Italy or Alaska.  Budget:  $10,000.  Yes, I can probably do the trip for less, but I think a travel savings account of $10,000 would give me the comfort level to take off.

Not only is the money missing, but I need to build up my vacation time (PLA) at work.  I am usually a “use it up” type, but I would like to carry a little over (10-15 hours) for “just in case”.

I have plotted out some blocks of PLA time for this year, but I am going to keep my activities simple and frugal.  I want to keep my life simple in general so I can continue my good, frugal habits.  Travel is the exception of that rule.

Part of my fun with travel is the planning.  I will enjoy that, but first, let me finish my adulting.

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Photo by WanderLabs on Unsplash

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