The Underrated Duty [an excerpt from the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach]

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Perhaps you think you’ll be happy when you get a bigger kitchen, or a new job, or the perfect someone with whom to share your life. But don’t you want to start making happiness a habit right now? Every morning when we wake up we’ve been given a wonderful gift — another day of life — so let’s make the most of it. No one can do it for us. “Happiness is not a possession to be prized,” Daphne du Maurier wrote in Rebecca. “It is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”

Let’s adopt a new state of mind about happiness. Let’s stop thinking that things outside our control will bring us happiness.

Admittedly, remodeling the kitchen, landing the job we’ve been dreaming of, or finding that special someone can make us feel — at least momentarily — happier. But the magic seeds of contentment are planted deep within us. Happiness that the world cannot take away only flourishes in the secret garden of our souls. By tending to our inner garden and uprooting the weeds of external expectations, we can nurture our authentic happiness the way we would nurture something that’s beautiful and alive. Happiness is a living emotion.

Your happiness is not a frivolous, expendable luxury. The pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence. But we have to be willing to pursue it. Ultimately, genuine happiness can only be realized once we commit to making it a personal priority in our lives. This may be new behavior for some of us and a bit intimidating. Be gentle with yourself. It will all unfold. Today you may not be familiar with the happiness habit. But like any new behavior, happiness can be learned.

***

I like to use this book – Simple Abundance – A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach, when I’m trying to reframe my thought patterns. I often do not stick to the daybook very far into the year or jump in at different times of the year. What I’d really like to do this year is to actually read the day’s passage each day for this year, and take the thoughts into consideration during my day’s activities. I really like the tenor of this book and I think having a morning ritual where I read the passage and let it be in my mind for the day, could be very helpful to me for keeping myself living with intent and not just letting the days go by.

Today, I’ve been thinking about the things I’ve denied myself over the years that I really wanted — things I wanted to learn, do or become — and I’ve decided that I’m going to tackle the biggest of my shelved-away dreams this year. I’ve always wanted to play a celtic or concert harp. I’ve wanted this since I was 16 or 17 years old and my desire has never waned. I yearn for it, and I’ve never allowed myself to chase the dream because I felt that any expenditure to pursuing this dream would be frivolous and wasteful when raising a family and having so many other things that always seem to take precedence over such things. However, I think that the cost of pursuing the harp and the lessons would be more than offset by my quality of life improving a great deal. I know that my quality of life will improve because although I have never owned my own harp, I have always adored harp music, and I have quite a few times sat at harps in stores or other locations and I’ve already been able to play simple tunes by ear. And the feeling of contentment and happiness I feel with the soundboard against my heart is a pleasure I cannot describe. It’s one of those things – you know you were meant to do something – and I have resisted this gravitational pull for many years. I’m done resisting, I’m going to follow that dream this year, so help me.

harp-vered-fishman
Painting by Vered Fishman

Prelude-W-cp troubador_VI

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

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

Trying not to let disappointment trip me up.

I am trying not to be disappointed in myself. I have fallen off the wagon as far as the gung ho motivation. I am going to kick my own butt this week and I am not going to allow myself to get lazy. I can understand that this last week I was hormonal and had a lot of money stress, but what I need to realize is when I am feeling like that it is the MOST important to me to take care of myself. Because not doing so just makes it all worse.

Today I have already walked my 30 minutes, and I have done my streches and 50 crunches. I’ve showered, dressed, applied makeup, etc., and gotten my toddler cleaned up, dressed, etc. as well. My husband was gracious enough to load the dishwasher for me while I was out walking, so now I only have a few more dishes to put in there (yes, they were THAT piled up), and I’m going to get all my housework caught up. We seriously need to get some laundry done so that is another thing I need to focus on today. I have a couple more household management type things to do as well.

As far as my own personal needs, I just need to make sure I eat within my calorie range, drink my water, and get a couple of veggies and fruits in there somewhere. I need to decide what vitamin supplements I want to take to make sure I’m getting all the nutrients I need. I am also going to need to get some glucosamine condroitin to help with my joint pain.

I went to the doctor on Friday, to talk about my body pain, to find out if maybe I was doing something wrong that was exacerbating the pain I am having. Basically it was a wasted trip, in that she had nothing to offer as far as my fibro flares go. She told me to keep exercising, but maybe to step back the intensity. The only surprising thing that happened, that redeemed the whole trip to the doctor was that she took a look at my walking shoes and deemed them “horrible”, and that I need to get a much better shoe and arch support. I am not surprised that she said “horrible”, they are WalMart specials with velcro instead of shoestrings. So I guess I need to invest in a good pair of shoes in the very near future. I’m sure that will help with the arches hurting. I noticed today that I didn’t have any shin pain walking at a slightly slower pace, but was really distracted by the arch pain. My achilles tendons are still sore but I am trying to keep them nice and stretched. I am taking advil a couple times a day as I can remember to help with the inflammation.

I haven’t been too good with the soda war. I have been indulging in it every day almost, and I am ready to get back into the 6 days off 1 day on routine. My hubby bought some pop and is going to keep it locked up so that I can only get to it with his consent. I really love having the caffeine boost but the calories are truly empty calories and I don’t have many to spare. I just miss it so much. I don’t like coffee or tea so I’m pretty screwed there. It’s water for me, and it can get pretty boring. I am not into those flavor things you put in the water. If I can’t have my pleasing confection of bubbles and cola, then I would rather just drink the water. It is a sad affliction to me.

Our money situation is causing me a lot of stress. This stress is adversely affecting so many things and it is really giving me a hard time in focusing on my health goals. I have not learned how to let go of the stress in regard to the money. I will spend some time balancing my checkbook and figuring out what the next paycheck is going to look like, and once I realize I have done everything I can possibly do, that is simply going to have to do. I just don’t know how to let go of the worry. It sucks so many units of happiness out of me, I cannot even begin to explain to you.

Well, I can’t stop the momentum, I need to get going on the tasks I have set for myself. Au revoir.

Today’s Inspirational Muse Brought To You by:

Shattered Dreams – Johnny Hates Jazz
So Alive – Love and Rockets
Rock the Casbah – The Clash
Try Again – Aaliyah
I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That – Elton John
No More “I Love Yous” – Annie Lennox
I’ve Been Thinking About You – Londonbeat

I used to be lunatic, from the gracious days…I used to be woebegone…and so restless nights…

My husband and I have been running errands all day since about 7 a.m.  I did not get to walk first thing this morning.  But right before Hubby went to work, I walked for 10 minutes.  Actually I walked 5 and jogged 5.  I do not like jogging, I have reinforced in my mind.  Not good on the old knees.

I was able to make some time to do my 50 crunches, but I have done no stretching today.  Not good for going walking/running earlier, but I didn’t have time and I was feeling kind of low because I hadn’t been outside, so my hubby let me go out for a quick walk and I’m glad because I felt much better after I got back.

I am cleaning, running errands, etc., in anticipation of my sister’s arrival this evening.  I will probably not have much time to get on here over the weekend, but I’m hoping to entice my sister into walking with me.  She is staying at a hotel nearby, but maybe she will walk with me later in the day.

We are going up to Mackinaw Island tomorrow to see the Grand Hotel.  Somewhere in Time is one of my sister’s favorite movies and I’ve been telling her we should go up and see where it was filmed.  I’ve never been over to the island myself, but when I first moved up here, I interviewed for the executive assistant to the owner of the hotel.  If I had taken the job I would have lived in the Grand Hotel 6 months out of the year.  But that would have taken me 4 hours away from my now- hubby and Princess and I wasn’t really keen on that.  I had just moved to Michigan to be close to them because I was 4 hours away in the other direction!  But it would have been nice to live in the Grand Hotel.  Well, now I’ll get to see what I missed.

Little Lola is now experiencing something new — she is painting on the easel with paints and brushes for the first time, and she is quite the artist!  I believe she will be prolific with the artwork, like her big sister was.

Well, I have got to get back to my to-do list!  Have a great weekend.

Today’s Inspirational Muse Brought to you By:

No More I Love You’s — Annie Lennox
Wild West Show – Big & Rich
Barely Breathing – Duncan Sheik
Head to Toe – Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Promises – Eric Clapton
Rumors – Timex Social Club

Great Day!

Ladies — Today is going GREAT.

I woke up at 8:20 a.m. and actually got up out of the bed on my own, NO prodding from the hubby, and I got dressed, did my stretches, got ready to go and walked into my bedroom.  My hubby was laying there with his eyes open, and he looked really surprised that I was dressed, mp3 player and timer ready to go.  I said, “I’m outta here, hon.” and he looked really impressed.

Out the door I went.  The music was great on my mp3 player and I was walking fast…I’ve been reading on this great walking website (http://www.thewalkingsite.com/beginner.html) about short and quick strides and visualizing walking a straight line, looking straight ahead and not at the ground, etc.  Also they said the faster you swing your arms, your legs will follow and this works.  The sun was filtering through the trees, so every few steps I would emerge into a shaft of sunlight and it felt so good.  It was chilly, but the sunshine was warm.  I walked without pain for approximately half the walk.  Started to get a bit sore in the second half, but not as bad as it has been previously.  I suspect that this is because of the flexibility exercises I’ve been doing from the previously mentioned walking website.  I just felt happy to be alive, happy that I am sticking to something for the first time in years, and knowing that my husband is proud of me.

I have been working out my plan for weight loss when going in to Phase 2 of the SparkPeople program.  I have figured it out that for the first 10 or 20 lbs I need to keep my calorie intake to no more than 1720 calories per day, and I want to try to burn 200-600 calories per day.  I’m not sure how I am going to structure this, now that we are going into the lovely season of Winter here in Michigan and I am not a penguin so I don’t like being out there too long.

I am planning on making Phase 2 last 12 weeks instead of 6.  I’m going to work for 2 weeks on each of the week’s points so that I can make sure they are embedded in my mind.  I need that extra bit of reinforcement to make sure things stick. 

If I could lose 2 lbs per week, by the time I am out of Phase 2, I could have lost 24 lbs.  That would take me down to 166 lbs., and a lot closer to my first goal of 160.  Once I’m there, I am hoping to get down to 150 or 140.  I think this is a nice weight for me to be, not too skinny, I get to keep my curves that my hubby loves and still be slim enough to wear the things I really enjoy wearing. 

Weight loss has become more of an interest since I have begun this change in my life-style.  I originally started this to work on modulating my mood swings for the bipolar disorder.  I have found without doubt that this is working for that.  These changes I’m making are not only exercise and nutrition, but also being more conscious of how I spend my time and making sure that I take care of my responsibilities as a wife, mother, friend and daughter.  Now that I have proved to myself that this is really helping me emotionally and mentally, and I am starting to see the benefits of consistent exercise and controlling my urge to overeat, I am hoping that my dream of getting back to a sexy body is closer than I had been thinking.  It seemed as far away as the moon.  I figured I couldn’t even meet my basic needs, how the hell could I possibly get fit?  No self control, no determination, no dedication, etc.  But I’m finding that I still have that in me–and the momentum builds as I get up and add another day to the tally of days I have lived this new way.

I am also seeing a definite lack of “fun” in my life, and I am really thinking about what I can do to infuse some enjoyment back into my days.  I mean, hanging out with my kids is fun, but I mean “MY” kind of fun…reading, other hobbies, etc.  It is time.  I am hoping that I can really curb the internet time, and spend that time with my kids, and also making time to seize joy during my days. 

Today for instance, the house is basically straightened up.  I don’t worry too much about the living room because that is where Lola plays.  I clean that up at night before bedtime so we start fresh in the morning.  The rest of the house is straightened, beds made, etc.  Tomorrow I will need to sweep and mop in preparation for my sister’s arrival, although I doubt she really cares about such things.  I will also do a load of laundry today as well, but other than that, housework is done.  It is currently 11:30 a.m. and I do have to run around this afternoon, so my time at home is short.  I have to go to my SIL’s house for 2-3 hours this evening while Princess is attending a babysitting course with her cousin in SIL’s neighborhood.  After that I need to get some groceries in the house this evening before my sister comes tomorrow.

I think I feel a bit uneasy like I’m missing something or should be doing more.  I can’t really see what though.  I am really not in the mood to take on some huge house overhaul or anything.  No special projects other than overhauling myself.  I think I may feel a bit funny about how much time I’m spending on SparkPeople right now but I think in order to effect the changes I’m trying to effect, I need to be on there to help keep my mind focused, or my eyes on the prize, as it were.

I just spend an hour or so going through the site, reading articles, etc.  I go to My SparkPoints page and I basically go down the list and do everything and get my points — but it helps me because I am watching those videos, and reading about nutrition and health conditions, etc.  It stays with me through the day and keeps me more conscious of my health decisions.

Wow, this is long winded.  I guess I should go and live my life today.  Thanks for listening.

Today’s Inspirational Muse brought to you by:

Would I Lie To You? – Eddy & Something or other, the name is screwed up.
Shining Star – Earth, Wind & Fire
Rock Steady – The Whispers
Where Da Party At – Nelly (feat. Jagged Edge)
Last Night I Didn’t Get To Sleep at All – Fifth Dimension
Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
Do Me! – Bell Biv Devoe
The Power – Snap

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

A New Week

Hi everyone (that’s seriously every ONE because I think that’s how many are reading it LOL).

I had a GREAT weekend in Cincinnati with Kitty!  We had a blast.  There was time for long, therapeutic talks, and then we went to dinner and karaoke.  I sang a couple of great songs that were received well by the crowd.  I got hit on by two or three different guys which I found amusing.  One of them sang a song to me.  I kind of felt bad because I had to tell him I was married!  Poor guy.  I just looked pretty the other night.  I’m not sure what I did different

OTHER THAN EXERCISE AND TAKE CARE OF MYSELF FOR THREE STRAIGHT WEEKS!!!

I am feeling pretty damned good.  I have moments of hesitation and I just push them aside.  I am sticking to something and seeing almost immediate fruits of my labors has made me feel so good about myself. 

I am not losing weight with my 20 minute walks.  I did some reading on it and I am finding that “walking for fitness” experts say for weight loss you should walk 45 to 60 minutes a day.  I am DEFINITELY not up for that length of time right now and I’m not sure if I WANT to walk that long every day at one time.  If I had a treadmill….we might find I feel differently.

Oh – a couple of different people read my aura this weekend — and universally they said I have a bluish/purple aura.  I did some research about aura colors and this is what I found.

=============================================

Blues are some of the most loving, nurturing and supportive personalities of the Life Colors. They live from their heart and emotions. Their purpose for being on the planet is to give love, to teach love and to learn that they are loved. Their priorities are love, relationships, and spirituality.

Blues are traditionally teachers, counselors, and nurses—basically the loving, nurturers and caretakers on the planet. Blues are constantly helping others. They want to make sure that everyone feels loved and accepted. People are always turning to Blues for comfort and counsel because Blues will always be there for them. They consistently provide a shoulder for others to cry on.

Blues are the most emotional personalities in the aura spectrum. They can cry at the drop of a hat. Blues cry when they are happy, hurt, angry, sad, or for no apparent reason at all. Even watching a sentimental commercial on television can bring on tears.

++++++++++

Violets are the inspirational visionaries, leaders and teachers who are here to help save the planet. Most Violets feel drawn to educate the masses, to inspire higher ideals, to improve the quality of life on the planet, or to help save people, animals and the environment.

All Violets have an inner sense that they are here to do something important, that their destiny is greater than that of the average person. Most Violets have felt this way since childhood. As children, many Violets imagined becoming famous, or traveling the planet, possibly joining humanitarian causes such the Peace Corp. Many of these charismatic personalities take on roles as leaders and teachers, while other Violets prefer to reach people through music, film or other art form.

Because this era is currently the “Violet Age,” any Violets who are not accomplishing what they came here to do are experiencing an inner “push” — even an inner “earthquake.” Inner forces seem to be shaking them up and pushing them to move into action, to fulfill their life purpose. Violets know they are here to do something significant. However, they aren’t always sure what that something is or how to accomplish it.

Many Violets were taught as children that their dreams and aspirations were unrealistic, so they have lost touch with their original visions. It’s important for Violets to reconnect with their life purpose and vision, and to take action. Otherwise they will always feel unfulfilled. They will always sense something is missing from their lives. Violets need to learn to slow down long enough to listen to their inner voice and to connect with their higher vision.

===============================================

I have made a new commitment to myself and my family.  I am limiting my time on the internet starting today.  I am also limiting where I go during that limited time.  I have determined that my time on Cafemom causes me more stress than a feeling of community with other mothers.  I am considering dropping out of that site completely but I did make a couple of friends there I don’t know otherwise.  What I *did* do in the interim was drop out of almost ALL of my groups, and especially any group that has topics that cause me anger, anxiety, stress or negative feelings.  I moved that little message box with the most recent message board topics to the bottom of my page so I can’t see it if I come on to journal or read my messages.  AND the new rule is, I can only go and check on Friday morning, no other days of the week.  As far as MySpace goes, I am going to keep my account there because, again, that is how I have contact with a couple other people in my life that I like.  I will check that everyday because generally it doesn’t stress me out to go there.

I am allowing myself 1 hour in the morning and a half hour in the evening.  During that time I will get on sparkpeople and enter all my information and read health articles, etc., get support in my groups, etc.  I will go to my Bipolar support website and talk to my friends there.  I will check my email, read my d-land journals and write in my own journal.  In the evening I will enter my meds and moods into my moodtracker.

My reason for this change is to focus more on my baby and my family, and do more productive things with my time.  Last night, I colored two mandalas from a book I bought.  It’s waxy paper that when you put the pictures up on the windows and the sun shines in, it looks like stained glass.  It was fun and relaxing.  I am also thinking of getting back into crocheting. AND Reading!!!

My plans also include more structured time with Lola.  Getting outside to play, etc.

I wrote some of my friends to see if anyone wanted to have a card/board playing game night once a month.  Once I get replies from a few people I’m going to set it up.

OK – I need to go and get going on the rest of my day.  My internet time allowance is about done.

😀

Today’s Inspirational Muse Provided by:

Come Dancing – The Kinks
Promises – Eric Clapton
I Heard a Rumor – Bananarama
Dance Hall Days – Wang Chung
Cool It Now – New Edition
Ladies Night – Atomic Kitten
No One In The World – Anita Baker

Making More Progress Every Day!

So it’s Tuesday.  Strength training day.  And guess what?  I did  it ALL first thing this morning!  Yes, it’s true.  I stretched, walked my 20 minutes/2 miles; then I came home and did my strength training, and then stretched again.  Yay me!

I am feeling pretty good in every way.  I can’t believe that just 15 days of this has made such a huge difference.  I have confirmed without a doubt that exercise, not overeating, getting sleep and just being aware of my needs and working to meet them is a magic pill to me feeling better and happier.

Honestly, I still have a lot of fibromyalgia pain, but that is to be expected.  I’m hoping it will get better as I get more conditioned.  I’m not dropping weight like crazy like I expected I would, but I guess that’s ok, as long as I *feel* good enough to be an asset to my family and not a liability.

This is the 3rd day of no soda.  Yesterday was BAD — my cravings weren’t intense but I think I was subconsciously replacing it with sugary snacks.  I had TWO, count ’em, TWO small ice cream sundaes.  One of them late at night too.  I wasn’t good at all.  My calories were only a little over my maximum, but you can imagine that most of my calories weren’t really great food choices.

We’ll see how hard it is for me today when I only allow myself to eat reasonably and no sugar snacking.  I may be in shreds by 3 p.m.  Or not, let’s hope that I skate through this relatively unscathed!

Emotionally, I’m feeling so much better.  I am feeling good about myself because I’m sticking with something, and I’m also being fair and forgiving when I don’t do everything perfect.  But I’m getting sucked into this because I’m finding that I enjoy taking care of myself and exercising, etc. 

I have worked so hard the last couple of weeks that my to-do list is quite short, and I only have to straighten up around the house a little and I’m basically done for the day! 

I already did my 50 crunches, too — all I have to do is my little streak of 3-4 songs to dance with my little one.  And track my food.  It’s getting less and less time consuming!

Now I will have to decide what I’m going to fill that time with.  I will perhaps do household projects 2 days out of the week, and the other 3 weekdays I’m just going to do what *I* want to do — hobbies and things I enjoy — and play with my daughter.  I worked out a learning plan that I am going to start using to start expanding her knowledge. 

Lola already knows all her ABC’s by recitation and by sight — she knows all her numbers to 20 — she knows all her basic shapes — she knows all her basic colors.  What I’m going to do is have “A” day or whatever letter – and then go around finding things that start with A, have her trace A’s or draw them in shaving cream on the table, etc. — same with numbers — I’m going to have number days where we concentrate on one number, counting items, writing the number, etc.  And that carries through to shapes and colors.  I’m also going to work with her on social/behavioral stuff, art, music, exercise, nature/animals, creative play, etc.  It’s going to be good and she’s so smart, I know she’ll soak it up like a sponge.

The one challenge I’m going to have is just getting everything done on the computer in one fell swoop and staying off it the rest of the day.

But let’s handle one hurdle at a time — let’s get this healthy living thing down first!

Today’s Inspirational Muse Brought To You By:

Could It Be Magic – Barry Manilow
Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira
I Don’t Care Anymore – Phil Collins
Right Back Where We Started From – Maxine Nightingale
He Wasn’t Man Enough – Toni Braxton
Cars – Gary Numan

“Keeping a Streak Alive”

So…it’s Saturday and here’s the hard part — keeping focused on my day-to-day goals.  So far, so good.  I’m treating it like any other day — trying to get all my goal activity done before my husband goes to work — except he’s not going to work today (yay!).

I did that “lifestyle scale” thingy yesterday on SparkPeople and it said I was “Veering Off Track”.  I’m assuming it was because of the calories consumed yesterday.  Because I did *everything* else…we went out to the mexican restaurant last night and I’m guessing the Burrito Al Carbon is what pushed me over the edge.  But oh, it tasted divine!

Today I also did my strength training.  I am really happy that I just bit the bullet and did it, even though I really didn’t feel like it.  This is the type of determination that I have been missing for a long time.  Any day that I have it is a blessing, in my book.

OK, I didn’t do the yoga last night!!!  My 3 Day mini challenge is really proving to be a challenge for me.  I was just saying I need to do Yoga every night for 3 nights.  Maybe it’s the “night” part that is defeating me.  How about 20 minutes of yoga for 3 days (time can be variable)?  Let’s try that.

I want to walk every single day.  I really enjoy it, the endorphins are great and being outside is good for me.  I’m just not sure how I’m going to handle it when the snow starts flying.  I think I still need to be out there anyway, at least whenever I can.  However, I do have my bellydance tapes, and hoping against hope to get a treadmill someday.  I just have no money for one, so I’m looking for a free one or near free.  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  It just has to be an electric one and have adjustable speeds.  It doesn’t need to have an incline or anything…I’m putting out there in the universe and hoping someday it will come back to me!!

I’ve been thinking that I would also love to have a hot tub.  I think it would be so good for my muscles.  I would settle for a new bathtub that I actually *fit* into, deep enough to fill with nice hot water.  Another thing out there in the universe…

I have a bit of housework to do, but Hubby and I need to go run some errands too.  I’ll just get done what I can.  As long as the dietary and exercise quotient is met then I feel my day has been successful.

Paid all the important bills yesterday, but to my chagrin, there’s not enough to do everything that needs done (AGAIN).  I don’t know how we’ll come up with the funds to do what needs done, but I believe in my hubby…I know he’ll come through; and I’m going to try to be as thrifty as possible in the next couple of weeks so maybe we’ll skirt through.

I slept great last night… ;-D  My hubby apparently wanted to help me be more relaxed…thank you thank you thank you Hubby!!!

Today’s Inspirational Muse Brought To You By:

I Want Her — Keith Sweat
I Know There’s Something Going On – Frida
We’re In This Love Together — Al Jarreau (Yay)
Rock Me Amadeus — Falco
Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back) – Eamon (nice title, huh?)
Rock The Casbah – The Clash!!! (Rock the cash bar!)

Come Go With Me.

Ok, Wednesday night at bedtime I had an anxiety attack.  Hubby came in and laid with me, and held me for a while, while I told him about what was going through my mind. I talked about the horrid phone conversation with the mortgage company, and about the fact that I was doing back down into a depression, and I was afraid I was going to blow it again with regard to meeting the goals I set. I also was having thoughts about what my poor Lola would do if she lost me, or her dad, or her sister. I started imagining her crying at night for me and not understanding that I was not able to come to her. I thought about how horrible it would be if she lost her daddy or sister at this age and that she would not remember them, she would not have the amazing experience of knowing how wonderful they were. I just worry about her suffering in any way that I could prevent. I love her so much. I told Hubby I didn’t think I would ever be able to have another baby because I don’t think I could handle worrying about 3 kids…I do worry about Princess but not as much as I do Lola. I’m not sure if it is because she is my baby, or that I have known her since the day she is born, or what. But I do obsess over her. I know, I need to get out more. I get irrationally angry if her sister ignores her when Lola is talking to her. I feel so upset that she is being invalidated and not being acknowledged. I get so mad that I just can’t stand myself, Princess or anything. There have been a few times that even her dad has tuned her out. I’m not perfect, but I make an effort, no matter how badly I feel, to always acknowledge and respond to Lola when she talks to me. There is nothing as bad for the self worth as being ignored.

Anyway — after my anxiety passed, I went to sleep. I had a couple of nightmares — one of which involved losing Lola at a public beach that was extremely crowded. I found her at the end but nonetheless I was severely traumatized when I woke up. The panic and sick feeling I had was with me for a long time after I awoke.

Today I felt all the effects of a very trigger-some, emotionally ravaging day yesterday. I didn’t do my walking, and didn’t really go through my basic needs checklist like I had been doing. I decided that I would just give myself a day to recover. I went to my bipolar discussion boards for some support; they came through with some good thoughts and consoling words.

I just let myself relax, didn’t put any expectations on myself, just vegged out. Later in the evening, my best friend called and we made plans for me to come down next weekend to celebrate our birthdays together. I hung up feeling distinctly better. She cheers me up. She is such a busy person, with 4 kids, 2 grandkids, two jobs, exercise, college, and a boyfriend — sometimes we can’t chat every day and I understand that. But just hearing her voice recharges me.

I also got a really sweet greeting card from my sister, and that made me feel really special.

My niece signed my guestbook on here — with some support regarding what happened with the mortgage company. She was angry for me and basically told me not to feel like a failure because I made a mistake. It was really sweet that she tried to make me feel better.

My brother called me to tell me he sent me a funny video on youtube. I went to watch that and ended up seeing several funny videos that made me smile, I sent to him.

My mom has been calling me a couple times a day. I think she is worried about me.

I felt really loved after all those calls and messages.

You know what is really funny? Princess took her shower and I did her hair — blow drying, straightening, styling…and for some reason that cheers me up every time I do it. I can’t figure out what it is about it that makes me happy. I just like to do hair. I need to think about this further. Possible career change?

So anyway, after Lola went to bed, I started just straightening up downstairs, and I decided to pull out all my yoga stuff to get it ready for the next time I used it. I ended up pulling out all my bellydance tapes as well. I ended up updating SparkPeople even though I haven’t been too good about it for the last 2 days. I recorded all my calories, and even though I didn’t monitor myself all day, I only went a few calories over. I am in the process of redoing my goals and making more reasonable goals for myself to start with on SparkPeople. If I am getting overwhelmed, I just need to take it a smidge smaller…

That inspired me to do my Relaxation Yoga for Beginners tape. I did most of it before Lola woke up screaming and wouldn’t stop. Of course I couldn’t get into my meditative groove so Hubby ended up getting her and bringing her downstairs. She wanted nothing to do with him, to his frustration, and she ended up crawling over to my yoga mat and laying down next to me while I was trying to do my last, relaxation poses — kind of hard to do when you have a toddler hugging to your side. Oh well, I did most of it without her…30 minutes total. That burned way more calories than I have been doing via walking every day. I decided I will restart my 3-day yoga challenge and try again.

I ended yesterday somewhat better than I began it. Hopefully I can get back up on the wagon again today. I love my children and my husband. I am so blessed with them and my sisters and brothers and my mom. It goes without saying that I love my best friend too. They are all my saving grace.

As of right now, I’ve done my before and after walking stretches, and brisk-walked for 25 minutes.  I’ve showered, dressed, put on my makeup and actually blew dry my hair.  I have a few things to do out of the house today so that will be good for me, getting out in the sun.  It is no coincidence that the last couple of days have been extremely dreary with little sunshine, and I felt like crap.  I really need to take that Seasonal Affective Disorder thing seriously and get one of those light therapy lamps like my therapist and doctor have been telling me to do for years.

Well, I’ll check back later (maybe).

Today’s Inspirational Muse Brought To You By:

Is There Something I Should Know – Duran Duran
Word Up – Cameo
Gin & Juice – The Gourds
No One In the World – Anita Baker
Time – Alan Parsons Project
Come Go With Me – Expose