2013 – A New Beginning

It’s been quite a while since I blogged regularly. I have been feeling the urge to share my thoughts again in a venue where I can get feedback from others; and just really feeling the need to express myself in writing, the way I used to.

I have a lot of things to update regarding this blog, but the past week, I have been considering “New Year’s Resolutions”.  I’m not really very good at keeping resolutions, but I want to live this next 12 months with some sort of intention and plan. I haven’t really ever done that before. But I really want 2013 to be SPECIAL. Noteworthy. A time of transformation and a new direction.
So instead of making resolutions, I would like to state intentions. Specifically, I am going to state intentions – ranging from intensely personal, to family-related, to finance, to just-for-fun.

So, here goes:

  1. I fully intend on cultivating more patience and kindness with my husband and children. Lately, I have let my irritability and impatience color my dealings with them, and my tongue has become quite sharp. I really want to try to be more present in mind when they need something from me or want to ask/tell me something.
  2. I fully intend on cultivating more patience and kindness with MYSELF.  I have become such a cruel critic of myself that I often find myself in the throes of terrible anxiety/panic attacks when I am indulging in leisure activities, or trying to take much-needed naps. There is nothing like having a guilt-induced panic attack just because you’re trying to catch an afternoon nap when your kids are not at home.
  3. I fully intend to allow myself downtime every day without guilt or “woulda”, “shoulda” or “coulda” statements. If my fibromyalgia, SAD, or anxiety is causing me to need to take it easy for the entire day, I need to allow myself to do this without recrimination.
  4. I fully intend to continue to work on cultivating multiple streams of income. I have two very good part-time work-from-home gigs going on, and I’m going to encourage those employers to send more work my way, and increase my monetary contribution to the household. I will try to be open to new avenues of income as well.
  5. I fully intend on continuing to work from home, but not more than 35-40 hours a week.  For once in my life, I’m going to do my best to avoid getting burned out, as I have so often done with employment in the past.
  6. I fully intend to continue the progress I’ve made with my dietary choices. I all but eliminated caffeine from my diet this fall. My hope for this year is to seriously cut down on soda drinks, and to drink more water. I also would like to approach eating healthier by picking one unhealthy food choice at a time and replace it with something healthier. When I feel I have overcome that unhealthy food habit, I will tackle another one. Again, trying hard not to get burned out.
  7. Become more disciplined and organized with regard to time management.  I have always tried to come up with these all-encompassing schedules, to-do lists, calendars, systems, etc., and they never seem to last very long. My goal is to really cut out all the things I have always told myself I HAD to include in a schedule/system, and simplify my schedule, so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed with housework, paying bills, etc.  I am going to have a far less stringent approach to expectations with regard to keeping house, and decide what the truly important tasks are each week and do my best to get those few things done. I don’t need to worry about dusting every week, or mopping every other day, etc. It’s just silly. I can go a couple of weeks without doing those things and you can’t even tell, so obviously these are just expectations put in my head by my OCD mother’s upbringing! I hate to have chaos in my home, but picking up clutter is one thing – getting down and hand washing the floors is excessive and I need to stop putting that on myself.
  8. I fully intend on making more time to spend with my husband. We’ve never had the chance to be “just us two”, as he already had a daughter when we got together. We have never had a good support system of people to watch our kids for us so we can go out and be together. That hasn’t changed really, but I am willing to hire some of the college kids that I know well to babysit now that they are grown. I don’t have to just depend on my oldest daughter’s availability to make this happen. My relationship with my husband needs nurturing, and not just once every couple of months. I want to put this to the forefront of my efforts this year.
  9. I fully intend on taking care of ME: taking more of an interest and pride in my appearance, investing in myself with exercise, spiritual/mental care, and fun and hobbies. I really want to be happy where I am at now, instead of focusing on some far-off time when all will be aligned. I find the most happiness from the simplest pleasures, ones that I have always enjoyed – reading, music, movies, games, etc., and I need to allow myself those things without guilt. Life’s too short not to be happy. And red lipstick and garish eye makeup make me happy too, so I’m going to take more time for myself to vamp it up, even if I’m just gonna be home that day.
  10. Work on the worrying – I really need to get a handle on my self-talk. My inner dialogue is my own worst enemy. If nothing else happens this year, I have to beat this inner demon that judges me more harshly than all the bully cheerleaders at my high school ever did.

Well, that’s all I’ve got right now. Basically it boils down to: BE NICER TO MYSELF. BE NICER TO MY FAMILY. KEEP IT SIMPLE, SILLY. IF IT FEELS GOOD, LET YOURSELF DO IT.  STOP TREATING MY BODY LIKE A TRASH COMPACTOR AND MORE LIKE A TEMPLE.

Have a great week!!

I have to center myself.

I feel the inactivity of this blog really reflects the inactivity in my life. I have been at a basic standstill since Lola was born. I have gotten out of the writing habit, my home has descended into chaos, and I am at a low point health-wise. Emotionally, I am dealing with feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, and am overwhelmed by all I feel I should be doing. Overwhelmed by the thought of digging myself and my home out of this mountain of, well, shit that is burying me. Financially, I have not been doing what I know I should be doing, I have not been a good manager of our household funds and my fear and anxiety related to money have caused me to often procrastinate on paying our bills in a timely manner. I hate to sit down and face it. In fact, that’s what I should be doing right now, but instead I am writing in this blog that I haven’t touched in a year.

I guess this is just my soul’s way of telling me that I want things to be better now. I want it to be more purposeful and I want to do the work necessary to eliminate these feelings of panic, anxiety, overwhelmed-ness, and the only way I can do that is to just GET STARTED. I guess I can come back to this blog as part of the life raft I will need to make the changes I desperately need to make.

I’m scared though. I’m scared I won’t be able to stick with it. Not sure how I should approach the changes. There are so many that ultimately need to be made. I’m screwed up in almost every facet of my life. I guess I just need to start working on what’s bothering me the most.

So, off I go. I will also cling to the life raft of FlyLady to help me not give up. I will go fetch my timer now, and face my fate. Wish me luck. Hopefully I will make some progress and then I can come back and write about all the good things I do have in my life. Until I dig myself out of all this, I can’t really enjoy those things.

A Few More Days

Well, there are only a few more days until we go on vacation.  I am so looking forward to it; I need time with my sisters, and my husband, and all the kids.

My husband and kids and I are going to be staying in a rental house in Florida, with my sisters L and J, and husbands and kids.  My nephew N and his girlfriend will be there also.  The house is large, has an inground pool and hot tub, and a billiards/game room as well.  It should be very nice for us all to relax and bond.  We are bringing our kayak and picking up L’s kayak as well, so there should be some paddling trips down the channel.  I am also anticipating time on the beach, watching my precious girl build sand castles and enjoy herself.

I have been spending the last week or so preparing for the trip.  To me, one of the major things I do to prepare for a vacation is to clean my house thoroughly, so that when I get home, I’m coming home to a clean and uncluttered house.  It makes it possible to keep the “vacation glow” just a little bit longer.  Coming home to chaos and clutter just makes me quickly lose the buzz!  This time, I did more than just the general straightening-up I normally do, I really have been deep cleaning the house.  When I get home, I am hoping to start fresh with a set routine for myself and the girls this summer.  I also have been reviewing and reworking our budget and think I have come up with some ideas to really help us get our spending in order, and increase our savings.

I know, boring, right?  Sorry!

What else is going on…hm…the fact that all I can tell you about is home routines and budgets is pretty sad.

Princess is finishing her last week as a sophomore.  Next year, she will be a junior and will be driving!  We got her a Jeep Grand Cherokee, but it needs a new engine before she can drive it.  She and her dad are going to spend this summer repairing the Jeep and getting it up and running.  She has to learn a certain list of maintenance tasks for vehicles before her dad will let her get her second level license, and drive on her own.  Already, she has changed the  oil in my van, along with  the air filter.  She has to not only do these things, but remember it so she can do it many times.  Her dad is making sure she has the practice.  The engine building should be excellent bonding time for them and teach her to understand the workings of her car.  Then, hopefully, she won’t be easily taken advantage of when she needs repairs on her vehicles when she is an adult.

Lola is gearing up to start kindergarten next fall.  I am excited for her, and nervous too.  I’m excited because she really needs interaction with kids her own age.  I see her loneliness.  She has a very active imagination and lives in a pretend world most of the time.  She has a LOT of “imaginary” friends.  The little kids next door are very antisocial with anyone but their own siblings.  It’s quite strange.  Lola would love to play with them, but they always seem unavailable.  It hurts her feelings.  I assure her it is not her fault, but there is this little worry inside me that she is so intense they just don’t like playing with her.  I have watched her play with others, and other than a tendency to try to be bossy, I think she is really sweet to other kids.  Yesterday, I went to  my insurance agent’s office and while I was there, the office assistant took her out to the lobby and was coloring pictures with her, and she was so nice to Lola, and Lola really just opened right up and they were just chattering away.  The lady was so good with her, and Lola’s eyes were just sparkling and she was so happy.  She didn’t want to leave.  I would love for her to have a kindergarten teacher like that.  I will not know how she will fare in school until she starts going.  I pray that the teacher realizes how loveable and smart she is, and helps us teach her to know when it is appropriate to interject, and not to interrupt and make it all about her. LOL.

Hubby is working really hard lately, lots of overtime, to help me get our finances in order, and to continue to allow me to stay home with the kids.  I really want to stay home until Lola is in school all day, which looks to be first grade.  When I *do* go back to work, I have absolutely NO idea what I will do.  I do not want to go back into an office environment again.  It really makes me feel claustrophobic.  Right now, I am turning some options around in my mind – either cosmetology school or back to college for another career option.  I would like to do something in the health care field, but I have to be careful what I select.  I’m not good with seeing injuries, etc.  It’s not that I get queasy from blood.  I get upset and I get sympathy pains very intensely when I see a wound.  I have seen some bad ones and have almost been incapacitated from the pain.

I have been told that I am an “empath” – that I am able to share other’s emotions and feelings, including pain.  I believe this is true.  I have always been able to tell 99% of the time, when someone is being dishonest to me, even to the point of just withholding information.  I can feel when someone is in pain even if they don’t say they are hurting.  When someone is angry or upset with me, I get really sick, because I feel my own feelings and I can feel their anger too.  I am very sensitive to other people’s feelings and usually, if I really care about them, I try to be very careful about what I say and how I say it.  Now, I’m not perfect, and I will sometimes say things that I regret.  I have been learning, the hard way, to keep my angry words to myself and give myself time to work through them to see if it is even worth spewing venom at someone else.  I have found this to be very effective, I have fewer regrets nowadays than I have for the past actions I took. And it seems that Lola may have inherited this trait from me – she cannot seem to handle seeing other people in pain.  She often will look at my mom’s finger, which had been partially amputated but has long-since healed, and she will say, “Oh, it hurts me, mamaw!”

But anyway, like I was saying, I would like to do something in the health care field where I would see less injury and still be able to help others.  Possibly as an ultrasound technician, or even an x-ray technician.  I do know that sometimes I will see some injuries as an x-ray tech, but maybe they won’t be as gory.  And even if they are, it’s not like I throw up or anything.  I just get those sympathy pains.  Maybe with time I would have them less?

But cosmetology is a big contender.  I love doing hair and makeup.  I love making someone look beautiful.  Especially working with Princess’s friends, I have been able to give some makeup help to a couple of them and really helped them be able to put their best foot forward in the world.  I love seeing the boost of confidence they have gotten from what I taught them.  I just feel at peace when I am styling someone’s hair.  I wanted to take cosmetology in vocational school when I was in high school, but the class was filled, and so I took secretarial courses instead.  It was my first inclination, and I still like the thought of doing it.  So maybe I should give it a chance!

Well, my little Lola just woke up.  We have some errands to run this morning.  Gotta get those done before Princess gets home.  She’s bringing her boyfriend home to study for the physics exam tomorrow, and they need babysitting! hee hee

Well, everyone, if anyone, who might be reading this, I hope you have a wonderful day!

P.S.  “By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.” – Winston Churchill

Songs to blog by:

Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
We’re In This Love Together – Al Jarreau
Girls – Beastie Boys
No Sleep Til Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
The Longest Time – Billy Joel
Beautiful – Gordon Lightfoot

The once prolific writer goes recluse; makes surprise appearance.

Hi there.  I know, I know, I haven’t written in a while.  I look back on my past writings, years where I wrote two, three, sometimes four entries in a day.  I suppose that has to do with being the mother of a small child.  My time really isn’t my own?  No, that doesn’t ring true.  I think I have lost my voice.  Having a stalker on the internet kind of sucks.  You can’t say what you really think or feel for fear this person will find out your information and spread it around like today’s hottest news.  When I came to wordpress I found that I could password protect entries, and hide myself from internet searches, which is great for keeping the stalker from reading my entries; however, with moving so much, and the reduction in my journal entries, I have lost a lot of my readers and now, blogging seems pointless.  Especially since I am not searchable on the internet, and no one can find my blog “by accident” unless they are surfing through wordpress blogs.

I guess even if I were to make my blog available through public searches, and the stalker found the blog, she still couldn’t access my deepest thoughts because of the password protection.  However, other new blog visitors will miss out on the good stuff as well, as most of my entries have to be password protected for some reason or another.

My daughter, Princess, has started a new blog.  I suggested it to her for a venue to practice her writing skills.  She really loves to write, and we are considering it as a possibility for her to pursue journalism in college.  So far, she is doing well.  If I decide to go public, I will add her to my blogroll.

I am definitely going to try to come and blog more often.  If you are a new reader, message me here for the password for the protected entries and I may give it to you.  Make sure to leave a valid email address.

I will spend more time writing entries about what is going on in my life these days, but at a later date.  Right now, I wanted to comment on the fact that a few months ago, I signed up on Twitter, just to see what it was like.  I really didn’t find it all that interesting, and never used it once I signed up.  So for months, my Twitter account has been inactive, yet almost every day, I receive an email notification that someone else is “following” me on Twitter.  I’m like, did you look at my past tweets and say, this person is witty and fun, so I will follow her for future tweets?  I think not.  Since I have not “tweeted” once.  What  was the protocol you used to decide I was someone to follow?  These are complete strangers, mind you.  Weirdos, I’m thinking.  Usually that’s a compliment in my book, but in this current scenario…it’s definitely not!!

I think I will toy around with my layout and my widgets this afternoon.  I am going to try to put a new daily quote or thought (the “P.S.” section) at the end of each of my entries, along with a playlist of songs I listened to while I blogged.

Fondly,

CG

P.S.  If there were no one to watch them drive by, how many people would buy a Mercedes?

Songs to Blog by:

Have a Cigar – Pink Floyd
Get on the Floor – Michael Jackson
I Don’t Want To Talk About It – Rod Stewart
By The Way – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Parachutes – Coldplay

You know…

I *do* like to get feedback on my entries.  What is up with you people?

Maybe you don’t know that I have updated my journal since I do it so irregularly.  Should I set up an email notification so you know when I update the journal?

Gah.

Ch-ch-changes…

Yes, I changed my blog layout.  I am feeling like taking risks.  LOL

I am still sticking to my so-called vow of silence, which isn’t truly a vow of complete silence.  I am just zipping my lips and only talking when I absolutely need to, in order to hear what people are saying.  I fell off the wagon a bit earlier today when I was talking to Hubby about some of the different options we currently have for our future.  We discussed the option of staying in Michigan for the time being and trying to build our snow plowing business up further by adding another snow plow, thereby making us an official “fleet”.  If we have any more winter seasons like this one has been, we could afford to travel to warmer climes a few times in the winter and, to be honest, Michigan is quite nice in the summer and fall so I don’t mind being here.

To be even more honest, I don’t mind being here in the winter, not anymore.  I’m used to it.  Since I don’t have to go out in the crap every day other than to transport Lola to and from school, it’s not so bad.  But even driving in the snow is no biggie anymore, I’m used to that too.  I could easily see myself just putting the moving away idea on the shelf, and concentrating on building our business some more and continuing to do the transcription work, and continuing to slowly make improvements to this house and pay down the balance on the mortgage.

I don’t know.  I know Hubby really wants to go somewhere warmer, but I am getting to a more accepting attitude about the whole thing.  If we had a bit better economic situation here, we wouldn’t mind just making the trip to Tennessee or Cincinnati to visit family every other month or so like we used to be able to do. 

What got me thinking about the snow plow business is that we had some snow last night and so our contractor was out running our plow last night.  It was a shorter shift because it wasn’t much snow.  Hubby and I slept in our bed last night and we made about $350.00 after paying our driver contractor.  That is some easy money.  I started thinking if we had two trucks and two drivers, we could be making double that and using that to get ahead. 

I don’t know.  It’s just where my thoughts have been lately and I’m just tired of being on tenterhooks not knowing if we are coming or going.  I just like the steady calm of knowing where you are and what you are working towards.  I like to have a one-year, five-year and ten-year plan in place.  I don’t like having three of each depending on what option we end up taking.  And I don’t like putting all my eggs in one basket on a path we aren’t sure we’re going to get to take.  It’s driving me crazy.

As far as other things, I am still processing the things my therapist said yesterday.  Part of me is mad because it was kind of harsh.  But part of me knows it is the truth and I really just don’t know how to address it and make the changes I need to make.  I felt chastened and basically called on the carpet and everyone knows I can’t stand that feeling.  However, I know I focus too much on what I perceive to be Lola’s problems when they are really my own.  My therapist pointed that out to me quite clearly enough yesterday.  The parallels were stunningly obvious if I had just taken the time to look at it reasonably.  But as my therapist points out, I *think* I am using reason, and I’m totally not.  So I feel even worse about me, although my therapist tells me my biggest challenge is working on my self-esteem.  But she just gave me a big knock down on that.  Kind of one step forward, two steps back.

On the positive side, she countered the “five challenging” things about myself with “five positives” and apparently, I have an amazing sense of humor and a strong drive to improve myself.  Plus, I’m very bright.  When she said that, I wanted to snap, “No, lady, I’m a fucking genius.”  I felt indignant about just being considered bright.  But then, I thought of all the stupid things I’ve done over the years, despite my high I.Q., and I remained silent and did not interrupt her.  Which I am sure she appreciated.  Because apparently, someone like me is “exhausting.”

Is it considered progress when you’re mad at your therapist?

Right now, I feel mad at a lot of people and honestly, I’m sure the feelings are misplaced.  In some cases, I feel let down because individuals have turned out to be not as perfect as I imagined they were.  Others, because I feel they may never change for the better.  Others, because they judge.  I just decided I will take a break from everyone as far as verbal communication goes, and give myself time to get over my feelings of jadedness, and then I can enjoy contact with all those beloved people again.  I just wish everyone could remember we are family and nothing can change that.  I just wish everyone could find happiness in their situation. 

What else is going on?  Hm…let’s see.  Princess is doing great.  I am in the process of hiring a geometry tutor for her, but other than that her studies are going pretty well.  Her personal life is good.  She is not dating anybody yet which is good, and her conversations with “that boy” she was talking to at school have waned, because I think she sees that he may be a bit of a player.  A nice enough acquaintance, but not boyfriend material (at least, I hope that’s what she’s concluded).  She and I are starting a 6-month fitness plan.  By July we hope to meet our goals (just healthy weight, not anything horrible or out of control), and we are going to treat ourselves in grand fashion when we do.  Princess mainly entertains herself by voracious reading, listening to her iPod, or messing around on the computer, or hanging with me.  I am glad I seem to be in the top 4 these days.  I would say she has become one of my best friends because she is just an amazing person and one of the funniest girls I know. 

Lola is an enigma.  She is certainly “bright” as they come.  It becomes more obvious every day that she has been blessed with a surplus of brains.  However, she also has more than her fair share of temper, stubbornness, and O.C.D.  She gets so obsessive-compulsive about some things that literally all hell breaks loose if something happens out of sequence (at least HER sequence).  We are struggling with some of those things but generally she is getting easier and easier to reason with, and I gotta say, she is precious and funny and has such a soft heart underneath all that MOUTH!  Which, I have to admit, is all from her mommy.  That’s my opinion anyway.  I love that kid so much!  I am so proud of her beauty, her brains, her spark.  I just cringe when she spouts off to people in a rude manner.  We are working on it, though.  And we are working on chores, and listening skills (how coincidental?), and eating all foods she is asked to eat.  Last night, for instance, without some small sacrifice of time and standing in the corner for her, she did eat cubed steak, corn, and mashed potatoes for dinner.  The night before she finally succumbed and ate her spaghetti.  Eventually she will realize we intend to call her bluff on this dinner thing.  She needs to eat more than hot dogs and peanut butter sandwiches.

Hubby and I are doing well.  We need to spend more one-on-one time together, as usual, but otherwise we are very much partners and I just love him so much it hurts.  April will mark 10 years we have been “together”.  We have known each other almost 20 years.  Can you believe that?  He bought me an iPod for Christmas, which I am loving so much!  8 gigs and I am using most of them! 🙂

Well, I guess I will go and play Guitar Hero until Princess gets home.  Then, I’ll quickly turn it off and get up and pretend I’ve been working on grown-up, responsible things all day. 😉 ha ha!

Ok, so I give up on giving up.

*sigh*.

I am just trying to keep afloat through a downswing.

However, I am just taking some time this weekend to babystep my way to getting some of this weight of stress off me.  Little things that are just geting in my way as far as concentrating on my plans for the future.

Clean my house.  Do my laundry.  Get the clutter and the chaos out of my face.

It’s kind of hard to do when your daughter has a raging ear infection in both ears.  And now the hubby is sick too.  The big girl went to her best friend’s birthday slumber party so she’s not here, and its probably for the best.  Her mom took 5 bottles of pills and tried to kill herself last Sunday.  We only just found out about it yesterday (Friday).  Princess is broken hearted and feeling pretty betrayed – both the fact that her mother did that and the fact that no one would tell her what was going on just because they didn’t want Hubby and Me to know.  It really sucks. 

At any rate, I’m hoping the Succubus stays in medical treatment somewhere and gets some help; although that has not worked for her the last 5 to 7 times she’s attempted this.  One thing I must say is that she has never taken these many pills before, so I’m thinking for once she really meant to do it.  As bad as I have felt, I can sympathize with her for feeling that hopeless.  I’ve been there, and I’ve been there in the recent past.  However, every time my mind started to stray down the path of “not wanting to live anymore” I would remember that there were indeed people who, although they could manage without me, I could not deny that my doing something like that would hurt them tremendously.  When I would think about the ripples in the pond that my suicide would have made — made me realize I do have some value in this world and the fact that I have so much love for those people that I would never want to give them even a mild bit of pain with  my passing, makes me realize life is worth living.  A good time with them once every few months is worth all the rest of the mundane days, and the crappy days, and the despairing day every now and then. 

So although they don’t know it – these people saved my life, and will continue to do so; because of them, I know my life is way more good than bad: Hubby, Princess, Lola, Kitty, Mom, Dad, Lois, Jim, Nate, Tiffy, Joey, Brian, June, Tina, TayTay, Stewart, my other nieces and nephews, even my SIL and BIL, my cousins, Nicole, Kath, even my online precious friends Y and Karen and others.  I guess that’s a pretty good list of people.  This shows me I’ve done something in my life that I can be proud of.  I have the love and/or friendship of all these wonderful people.  I have two beautiful daughters.  I have a wonderful husband. 

I often feel unworthy – that I have nothing real to contribute anymore.  I often feel like people would be better off without me sucking the life out of them, or whatever.  I feel guilt  for needing more than I think I should.  I get so tired of slogging through life every day, never having enough money, always worrying about where our family is going next, worrying about whether or not I’m ever going to find the peace within that I crave.  How I will find the energy and the drive to do the things my heart and soul long to do.  Sometimes I get so frustrated that the thought I wish I didn’t exist goes through my mind just because it’s such hard work to just live today.  But the thought never goes far.  And that can be frustrating too because sometimes I feel so bad, because I’m *pinned* here!  But ultimately, that’s the best thing in my life.

Right now I am reconsidering the job I have taken.  It is very stressful and I’m not sure if that is the best thing for me.  I really need to decide if the extra $ from this position is worth the stress of it all.  I’m not certain that it is.  Hubby and I really need to talk this through and figure out what is best for us as a family and me as a mom.  The ultimate solution would be to get the damned transfer to Tennessee anytime soon!!!

Well, I am going to get off here – I am making progress around the house so I better take advantage of that.

Songs to blog by tonight:

Lady – Styx
Barely Breathing – Duncan Sheik
Respect Yourself – Bruce Willis
Southern Cross – CSN&Y
Can’t Stop – After 7
Big Log – Robert Plant

Hey, it’s ok

It has been almost a month since my last post.  Because we had gotten so behind in the money department our internet service was cut off.  We don’t have it back up yet but probably in the next week or so. 

Life is otherwise going well.  My new job is stimulating, exciting and HARD.  Kind of like my man. LOL

I love working in the courthouse.  Not only is it cool to be in the courthouse, but by virtue of my job I’m right in the center of all the activity and all the stories, and all the people.  I am enjoying it right now, and trying like crazy to avoid any horror stories of criminal trials but I know that soon that will not be an option.  I have only been in the official position I was hired into, for about a week.  I really enjoy it, and the people I am working with.  I am very sorely missed up in the Probate department too so that is sweet to know.

I am doing some wonderful, special things for myself.  This weekend I am getting my teeth whitened!  And I’m having another skin consultation, and probably will schedule the first few weeks of whatever skin treatment I decide to go with.  Probably microdermabrasion or peels or something.  This is to work on reducing the appearance of the acne scars.  After that I am going to see a local, very well known and respected cosmetic surgeon about getting neck liposuction or a chin or face lift.  😀 

In the meantime, my BIL and SIL found a treadmill for me, and I’m looking for an exercise bike and mini trampoline for my fitness regimen.  I decided that with everything else I have going on, going to a gym is not something I want to try to fit into my day.  With the treadmill I can do walking or running for 30 to 45 minutes before I get ready for work every day.  When I come home from work I’m going to do 30 additional minutes of cardio every other day, and the alternate days some flexibility or strength training. 

My ultimate plan is to get to feeling as good about myself (my appearance, etc.) as possible.  Because a lot of the things that bother me can be worked on.  Thus the plan.

I made a list of all the things I want to do or set into motion as a regular thing and I’m going through it trying to make those things happen.

I got a fabulous new haircut too, and I would love to show you a pic but I am not really feeling like uploading pictures at this time.  It’s SHORT! and it’s all newfangly and shorter in the back than the front.  It’s really quite mod and sexy.  Hubby loves it and I have gotten tons of compliments from everyone. 

Long story short — feeling tons smarter, more valuable, and prettier.  Also feeling tons more tired and when it’s been a long hard day, I am not quite being the nicest mom in the world.  This is something I need to work on. 

I am off meds as of last month.  So far I have not seen the need to go back on.  My doc was going to take me off them soon anyway if I continued to progress because now the doc and my therapist think maybe I’m not so much bipolar as someone who is affected by my environment to an extreme degree.  I have been doing so much better since I went back to work that they feel that this alone should help me get back into a more steady mindset.  So far, it has done just that.

And a few more paychecks coming in should improve our financial situation drastically.  We are well pleased.

Lola is really doing well in daycare, so I think everyone is benefitting from this arrangement.

I love my babies and my man.  They are my world and I’m so glad that everyone seems to be doing well in this situation.

This was supposed to be a quick update but turned out longer than I thought.

I have to go…I have limited time online and I need to check on all my buddies.

CG

Time Management Really Matters

I am really getting into the habit of doing all these “basic needs” things I have on my checklist.  I am getting them done in the first part of the day, leaving the rest of the day to get other things done or spend time with my kids.  Limiting the time on the internet especially seems to help me.  I do not count my time journaling or doing SparkPeople or Bipolar Discussion Board in that “time wasting” time because those things are good for me.

My moods have been much better.  I haven’t necessarily been over the top happy but I haven’t been despairing to the point of really negative thoughts.  I feel simply content with the situation.  Part of me thinks I should be doing more, but part of me knows I’m lucky to be completing the tasks I have set for myself right now.  I would think a month is a good enough lead in time to developing a few good habits — I am hoping I can step up things, just a tiny bit more, after 11/1/07.  I’m really invested in baby-stepping this process.  Baby-Stepping to a Healthier ME.

Yesterday was great in that I spent a lot of one-on-one time with my daughter, giving her my sole attention.  For one straight hour, I didn’t answer the phone, or do any housework or anything like that.  I just spent time with her and did things with and for her.  It felt really good.  I am going to start making that a huge priority.  We read more books yesterday than we have done in a long time.  We also did flash cards, and watched a show together.  We danced, and other things.

I am giving thought to increasing my workouts once my month of “fast break” is over.  To walk to lose weight I have read that it takes 45 to 60 minutes  of walking for weight loss.  I just can’t commit to that big a piece of time being outside, at least at this time of the year.  I am wondering if I can do three 20 minute walking sessions and get the same effects or does it have to be 60 straight minutes? (Yvonne?  Can you answer this question?)

Well, I actually have a lot of extra things that need done today–my sister and brother-in-law are coming to visit this weekend–so I need to go and address all those things so I can enjoy my afternoon with Lola. 

PS. I look HOT lately.  And I haven’t even lost the weight.  I’m actually back up to 190 and wondering when I will actually lose weight?!?  I am eating less calories and have increased my exercise level.  Should be a no brainer, right?  So where is the weight loss?  Aside from that, my skin looks pretty good, my hair looks great, I have some of that old energy back.  But I wouldn’t mind losing some weight people!!!

Today’s Inspirational Muse Provided By:

Groove Is In the Heart – DeeeLite
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police
In The Summertime – Mungo Jerry
Part-Time Lover – Stevie Wonder
Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
If You Leave – OMD
Shattered Dreams – Johnny Hates Jazz

You’ve Got The Music In You…Don’t Let Go…

Today I have gotten most everything done that I need to do in the whole day, done by 12:00 noon.  That leaves the afternoon for spending time with the little one and doing fun things for myself too!

All I have left to do (besides journal) is to finish one load of laundry and put it away; learning/fun time with the Bean (my baby); make a T-Shirt design for my brother’s pet store; dance to 3 songs with the Bean.  And that’s it!!!

I did belly dance instead of walking today because it was raining and dreary outside.  I did my strength training and my 50 crunches.

I made a decision about my soda drinking.  The more I think about giving up Dr. Pepper forever the more I want to go out and buy some and just guzzle it.  I did have a half a can last Sunday while driving back to Michigan from Cincinnati.  It hasn’t made me crave it any more or less these last couple of days.  What I’m thinking I’m going to do instead of putting myself on this “How many days since I quit Dr. Pepper” thing, I’m going to just say “How many days out of the year can I NOT have pop?”  That way I am not saying goodbye to a Dr. Pepper forever, and I can still keep track of my accomplishment.  I was trying to explain this to Hubby as far as the cigarettes go…every day he DOESN’T smoke is a day he doesn’t smoke!  But I don’t think he gets it.  Maybe cigarettes don’t work that way. 

Anyway — my system for now is going to be 6 days without it, and one can of Dr. Pepper as a reward on Sunday.  And keeping cumulative track of days without it.  It’s a good reward for my consistency, since I do enjoy my bubbly drinks.

I am still doing 50 crunches a day!  GO ME!

And trying to dance to 3 upbeat songs a day with the Bean.

I am walking 20 minutes/2 miles per day right now.  For weight loss, I guess I need to be walking a bit further.  I am just not ready to commit more time than that to walking every day.  I am in pain almost the whole 20 minutes still.  I need to get more conditioned before I take this further.  But still, 20 minutes a day is EXCELLENT for my cardio needs.  I am not so concerned with the weight loss as just being healthy for my peace of mind and for my family.  But there’s this little thought in my head that if I could get down to around 160 or even 150 I would feel absolutely wonderful!!! 

Right now I’m in the first phase at SparkPeople called “Fast Break” — it’s supposed to be 2 weeks long — to establish some healthy habits and build momentum.  I’m doing it for a month straight to really imprint those decisions on my heart and mind.  My healthy habits I’ve selected for Fast Break are the 20 minutes of exercise, every other day of strength training, tracking all food and water daily, and completing all goal activity early in the day. 

 On 11/1/07 I am going to start Phase 2.  It’s 6 weeks long and it’s to jump start weight loss.  I am thinking I will substitute a large salad for lunch every day.  I may vary it by adding slices of turkey, ham, etc. (Julienne salad?) but mainly filling up on greens for lunch.  I am thinking that I will continue to allow myself to have cereal for breakfast every other day, but I am going to go through all the cereals I like and find the LEAST fattening one.  I am thinking I will have 2 eggs every alternating morning.  Dinner I’m going to leave as it is, as it is the one meal I have with my whole family.  I am just going to use the small plates and use portion control.  And the big thing is to curb the sweet snacks.  I am not going to buy any more ice cream to leave in the house.  I’m not going to have a whole lot of candy in here either.  I am thinking I will get some Kudo’s bars, they’re not perfect but it will give me some chocolate and it is somewhat filling,  yet not as fattening as a pure candy bar.  And I will keep plenty of the fruits and veggies that I like available.  I like green beans, so I may make some green beans for a snack — they are excellent with a tiny bit of butter and salt and pepper. YUM.

Phase 2 will involve taking my exercise up a notch.  I still have not determined how I’m going to do that.  Jogging is too hard for my joints; hell, walking is kind of hard on them too.  I love to do the belly dancing and it burns about the same amount of calories as the walking, but I do believe that being outside in the morning is really the trick for my feelings being more regulated.  I am thinking that I may add 10 minutes to my walk; or do the 20 minute belly dance video during the day sometime.  I don’t know–I have to think on this.

Also, our finances are MUCH improved — in that we are not bouncing any more checks and are not going into the negative on the bank account.  I am keeping track of the checkbook balance daily.  And I am not taking the checkbook with me anywhere–we are only writing checks for bills.  I am shopping for food and other necessities with cash.  I am taking my calculator to the grocery store and keeping track of the totals so as not to go over my budget.  We are keeping our gasoline money and other petty cash in cash in our house.  Hubby is also helping me with this — he is now taking an equal role in the decision making of what is being paid and when…and discussing everything we have coming up so we don’t forget anything.

I can’t believe that I have kept this going for 23 days.  Suffice it to say I am very proud of myself.  I love that my husband is being my support system for the fitness and the positive thinking.  He is the best.

I am keeping up with my housework too thanks to my little “basic needs priority list”. 

Well, I’m off — I only have 20 minutes left on the internet all day so I am going to check MySpace and my email.  Take care!

Today’s Inspirational Muse Brought To You By:

You Get What You Give – New Radicals
Same Ole Love – Anita Baker
You Really Got Me – Van Halen
Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira (feat. Wyclef Jean)
I Found Someone – Cher
No More Drama – Mary J. Blige
Keep Your Hands To Yourself – Georgia Satellites
Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
I’ve Been Thinking About You – Londonbeat

TOO COOL

I found a message thread on the Challenge Message Boards and I thought it was a great idea.

I am currently keeping track of my miles walked anyway, and I found the one to “Walk from Hobbiton to Rivendell” (Lord of the Rings theme), and there’s a website that has the milestones marked out for you so you know where you are at what mile you’ve walked to.  Not only can you do the first leg of the trip to Rivendell, but you can follow characters of the Fellowship all through the story, and when you get to the end, you can walk the whole way home with the hobbits!!

This is really neat and a twist to what I’ve already been doing.  So every day when I do my morning journal entry, on the right side of the screen I have a widget for this, and I’m going to post how many miles I am at, and the last milestone I passed. 

I also was intrigued by the 100 crunches each day challenge, and I am thinking that would be awesome, but I don’t know if I can handle 100 to start with.  I didn’t want to commit to it and not be able to stick to it (like my yoga challenge, which is proving really hard for me).  So I am thinking I will try 50 per day.  I can do this while hanging out with my little one watching TV in the afternoon. 

And the best one is going to be giving up soda.  Or should I say the Hardest?  It will be very rewarding in my weight loss plans, so I just need to make that motivational collage to put up to give me something to look at when Dr. Pepper is beckoning me to come and find him. LOL. 

So at this point, as my ROUTINE stuff everyday, I am doing my 20 minutes of fast walking each morning, then strength training on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, and yoga if I can every evening.  I am going to kick up the walking to 30 minutes after a month or so of walking and I can work myself up to it.

And these are my small “challenges” right now:

3 Day Mini Challenge – Yoga 3 days in a row
50 Crunches Per Day – no end date – just trying to create a streak and see how long I can go.
No Soda Challenge – no end date – just trying to create a streak and see how long I can go (this has to start tomorrow since I already had pop today)

I’m trying not to do too much.  What is cool is that the walking, daily stretching and strength training are all done very first thing, before Hubby even goes to work.  So it’s not overwhelming me to add the other things to do during the day.  If I had to be responsible for myself to do all of the morning exercise AND my personal challenges without Hubby’s support, then I don’t think I could handle it.

My Hubby is so awesome.  The last two days in a row, he has nudged me out of bed.  Is that not AWESOME?!

And this day is going great.  I have finished 95% of all my goals for the day — I still need to do the yoga, crunches, and do another load of laundry.  We are pleased.

Good Intentions for the Day

I am accomplishing my goal items first thing today instead of feeling scattered all day.  One of those things is to journal. 

I woke up singing one of the kiddie songs from the Noggin channel this morning.  Soooo a stay-at-home-mom.

Gosh, I wish I had something really important and profound to share, but I don’t.  I’m really, truly drawing a blank.

Today I’m going to be in day 2 of my Mini Challenge – to do Yoga 3 days in a row.  I did do it last night.  It was good…I really need to stop stopping stuff that feels good and is good for me.  What’s with that?

Other than my health goals, today I am going to sort my laundry.  I keep putting that off.  I’m not sure what else, but I think I might allow myself a couple of hours of playing video games.  I do enjoy it.

I will also play with my daughter today.  I think I’ll bring out the play-dough.

Oh, something cute — when I was doing my stretching before and after my walk today, Lola was trying to imitate what I was doing.  Maybe I’ll make a yogi out of her yet!

I need to go upstairs and get cleaned up.  I’m all sweaty from my 10th day of walking 2 miles in 20 minutes!  Who rocks?  I rock, I know.

I also feel like I want to get a book out and read today, too.  Maybe that will happen a bit also.

I’m going now.  I’m sorry for the lack of real information!  I love all ya’ll though.

Today’s Inspirational Muse Brought To You By:

Jumpin’ Jumpin’ – Destiny’s Child
Scream – Michael Jackson
Cars – Gary Numan