Daydream Believer

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Husband, thinking of employment strategies?

My heart has been a little broken lately. Husband and I are on the precipice of major change. As I have talked about, he just graduated from college and is looking for work all over the place. Looking for work at this point in time is frustrating to say the least. Remember when you wanted a job and the way you’d get it is by stalking the management, and explaining how wonderful you were. Now it’s a numbers game. You have to put all the buzz words in your resume so the computer will pick you and then your one piece of paper full of skills has to impress a human before you even get an interview. It isn’t personable anymore and even more so, no one seems to want someone right out of college.

I mean I know my husband is the smartest person I have ever met, but these people don’t. So much rejection can get to you. Yes, you can put it in perspective by saying they don’t know you, but feelings don’t have perspective.

Husband doesn’t deal with complex feelings very well anyways.

While our relationship is amazing we’ve been feeling the strain of it all. So much focus on his career makes me think about mine and not just because when he has his new job, I get to quit mine. I have dreams that I feel like I am failing.

Being the daughter of a 70’s teen, I was excitedly told from the beginning I could do anything I wanted. Finally for women the possibilities were endless. This is true, but then there are issues like what do you do when you can do anything? Then there is the pressure – if you don’t do something spectacular you’ve let your momma and all of female kind down. Now, admittedly, most only expect you to do better than the generation before. I my case, I have a college degree and a good union job so I’ve made momma happy, contributing to the feminist agenda, not so much.

This argument doesn’t even speak to my dreams. I want to publish my writing, become healthy, be a psychologist, study sociology, on any given day get a degree in one of ten subjects, learn Italian and Spanish, and read every book in the entire world. I am a thirty-seven year old woman that still has so many dreams.

All the wasted evenings spent watching TV bring to mind many regrets. I should have been reading or learning in some way, or doing jumping jacks. These thoughts are so unproductive and stupid, but again some feelings aren’t rational, especially when they are roped into feelings of inadequacy over not being able to help a loved one. I feel helpless not being able to fix things. I can’t handle the pain of the people I love.

I am in the spiral. My insufficiency is overwhelming me right now. It is sort of debilitating. I actually hit the Ben and Jerry’s tonight.

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My brother Patrick and I. Isn’t he handsome? Sorry, he is taken

Then my brother called. It is so nice to talk to someone who understands me so well. I guess my overachieving dreams aren’t just because of the pressures of being a woman. It might just be coming from the same woman, my momma. He and I were comparing our dreams and he so lovingly and hilariously put it in perspective. He said very seriously, “Don’t laugh. I am still upset I am never going to space.”

Now I am thinking if Patrick can live with the disappointment of never being an astronaut I can live with not ever studying marine life or microbiology (two of the possible degrees I have wanted.)

In an article in Ladies Home Journal this month the accomplished Sally Field said, “I’m looking at myself in the mirror and asking, ‘Who do I want to be when I grow up.’” Now if someone of her caliber, accomplished, beautiful and smart, isn’t resting on her laurels, then I think I have a responsibility to do what I can. Maybe we all do. I don’t know about space, but maybe I can fit those jumping jacks in during commercials. Who am I kidding, I don’t watch commercials.

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My Mom, the dream weaver.

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Mountains of issues

I have had boobies since the fourth grade. I remember very vividly the boys teasing me because they thought I stuffed. It wasn’t until high school that I began to think of these developments as a blessing, and in college, well, I knew they were. As I have gained over the years, a great deal of the weight has hit my chest. I am the proud wearer of much cleavage. I had a woman complain about it at my old job, to which my best friend replied, “You’d have cleavage in a turtleneck.”

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My cleavage out on the town, with some handsome men.

This is true, and my identity has always in some way been tied to my cleavage. I don’t wear t-shirts usually because then I just end up looking like a large egg, the boobs take over. They have been marveled at in many venues as I am sure all busty girls understand. I have seen eyes get big at their arrival, notice I didn’t say my arrival. My boobs arrive first. My breasts literally get a reaction all on their own.

I have always sort of been in a big booby euphoria too. I am an attention whore of sorts so the fact people have been drawn to them has been a plus. When I say people I mean women too. I think women talk about my breasts more than men. At a party, people want to touch them: male, female, gay or straight it doesn’t matter. That I can do without, but it always made me feel special to be the busty woman. I mean, at least I got that going for me.

I never understood the women who have had breast reduction surgery. Why would I get rid of the gloriousness that is my chest? The thing is that my body has always been pretty proportional. In high school and college I was an hourglass and really didn’t know what I had. I had a rockin’ body that if I knew what I knew now I would have shown off a lot better. Now, I am an hour glass still but pushing forty and pushing #@$@%$ pounds, the boobs are getting too big. (My friends and family reading this will be surprised I am saying this)

Everyone says when you lose weight the first thing to go is the boobs. Of course these complaints are told to me as a backwards way of bragging. Oh no, I lost all this weight, but first in my boobs. I don’t mean to sound bitter, but sometimes I am when people are bragging about it. I have heard this from no less than twenty people in my life, you lose first from the boobs.

For me that is not true. I have not lost an ounce in that department. I was finally looking forward to it. I am tired of paying so much money for bras. I have to special order, because the ones at Lane Bryant are too tight. I spill over in a very uncomfortable way.

Sleeping with gigantic boobs is not comfortable. Husband gets upset that I move so much trying to get “adjusted.” Then there are those times when you wake up aching because you’ve rolled over on them in the middle of the night, and that’s with a sports bra on. Yeah, these babies only get fresh air if I am in the bath, or in the mood. Even so, I am sadly proud that they still point forward…barely.

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Even fully covered they make an impression at the lake

I have day dreams of going into Victoria’s Secret and buying a delicately cute pink and black lace bra to elegantly display my smaller breasts. I also imagine bedtime where they don’t cause problems because I don’t have to maneuver them around to get comfortable. Then there are the nightmares I have that I will lose the weight and then they will look like two deflated balloons, lying down to my belly. At night I will swing them over my shoulders for comfort.

I hope that doesn’t happen because this is a place I NEED to lose weight for my health and my sanity. Sadly the era of the bust is over. This woman wants to get her some smaller cleavage.

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My New Favorite Thing

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My favorite WYCWYC walking in the park

I discovered a new movement on Twitter. It is called “What you can, when you can.” #wycwyc The idea behind it is that you do the best you can and be happy with it. Mostly it is about fitness but I think it could be applied anywhere.  If you go to twitter and search for #wycwyc, there is a list of people telling what they did today.

The web that sponsors the movement says:

“Born from a longing to end perfectionist tendencies and the “start tomorrow” mindset, the #wycwyc movement reminds us doing what we can when we can is enough. There is no starting over, no magic day of the week, no throwing away the day. By doing what we can when we can we will reach our goals.

Doing something is ALWAYS better than doing nothing and Incremental shifts add up to change over time.”

I am so empowered by this, mostly because I feel like I never do enough. Being extremely overweight has made me panicked more than once. I think I have so much to do. I gotta get started. An hour of exercise, carrots, celery, and cottage cheese are the only things on the menu. Of course this only lasts about a day if that. Then I am back to mainlining McDonalds and hitting the ice cream/brownie buffet. Then I am drowning my disappointment in gumdrops because it is disappointing. I think that’s the thing I can’t really explain fully. How gut wrenching it is when I fail.

Eating right and exercise is an elemental part of your life like sleeping, brushing your teeth or walking up stairs. At least that’s what society makes you feel like. If you can’t do this you must not have control of yourself. That makes me feel pitiful. Then I rebel and forget everything I want to do.

If there is no specific plan and I just try to do what I can when I can, then there really is no way to fail other than completely giving up. Whittling away at my goal a little every day, again, seems like the best most healthy way to lose weight.

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Duckies, good motivation

My husband has been providing this bit of levity for me for a while, but until I found this I didn’t realize. Husband and I have just gotten back on a good feeding schedule. We have stopped eating out and are counting out weight watchers points. I was sitting at dinner with him talking about exercises we should do. Brad looked at me incredulously. He said, “We just got this food thing down do think we could cement that a little bit before we talk about exercise.”

Husband gets it. Hates exercise, but understands that I can do too much too fast. Creating habits-that is the goal, but also doing what I can and understanding that that is enough. I am enough. Everyone out there has struggles in one way or another and I want all of them to know you can do this. You are enough.

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River views, lovely, peaceful, what more could you ask for on a walk?

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To Sleep to Lose

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This is what I look like when I go to bed. Really. Make up and jewelry, really.

                Sleep deprivation is not something to be messed with. I am living proof that your health can seriously suffer if you don’t get enough sleep. I can’t be the only sleep apnea patient that feels that they are a walking sleep study that proves the need for sleep. Sleep apnea is a disorder where you stop breathing in your sleep. According to my sleep doc, I stop at least sixty times an hour by the time I got treatment for it. I believe I had sleep apnea years before. There are so many ways that not getting good enough sleep affected my life.

                Since my teenage years I have been less than graceful. I fall more times than a normal person will in their entire life, in one year. My brother Matthew likes to say that our family always knew it was winter because as soon as it frosted over they would hear, “Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, swoosh, SWAK!” That would be me sliding into our front door. I am also known to my parents as the one who ran into the back of a parked pickup truck, while running across the street. That one hurt a lot because I got clothes lined on the plywood sticking out the back. I broke open my chin, bled all over my shirt and then got a nice big lump on my noggin.

                In high school I was known as the girl who fell a lot in band practice. I learned not to wear a skirt because as soon as I had to turn and rush down a couple yard lines it would end up over my head. In college, I was the one who fell in a dress, in the middle of class pictures. At the non-profit I used to volunteer at I became known as the girl who could fly. This was after an incident involving two lovely dogs scurrying out in front of me, their toggle still attached to the ground. I got some serious air that time. I felt as if I understood the beginning stages of the Greatest American Hero.

                Luckily it was shortly after my swan song, AKA the day I flew, that I met Dr. Baxter who sent me for the sleep study. It was a miracle. For a couple of years I have been waking up crying because of excruciating headaches. Come to find out, my rock hard neck muscles were because of my gasping for air.

                After deploying the CPAP, which is the breathing machine I use at night, I haven’t tripped once unless I deprive myself of sleep on purpose. The headaches have gone away. Also, I believe that this is the only reason that I have been able to lose the weight.

                Sunday night, husband and I decided to stay up late to watch the Veronica Mars movies. We had been mainlining episodes for a week and a half. Only people who have done this can understand but we were so excited to see this movie. When we finished the end of the series it was midnight. We decided, okay, let’s go ahead and watch it. It was two-ish when it was done, then we stayed up and giggled until three thirty-ish. It was one of those delightful nights when you laugh about stuff so funny, but you try to explain it to someone else and they look at you stupefied. It was amazing.

The next day…I was dragging butt. Not getting enough sleep left me with only a half a mind all day. Normally I am a multi tasking wiz, but that day I could barely accomplish one thing at a time. I fell down the stairs, and ate everything in sight. Okay so maybe that sounds like an excuse, but I promise you it was so much easier to eat better when I slept well.

                I guess I am getting to the point where I am noticing things that hurt my ability to be my best self. I know that sounds corny but if I am more clumsy when I haven’t slept then imagine how impaired I am in other areas. I feel like I am coming out of a cloud. Lack of sleep can cause so many problems, more serious health problems than my clumsiness. I have read about links to heart disease and deteriorating the brain. I hope that I have gotten my CPAP in time. I am going to try to not stay up late like that again if I can help it. This is one more tool I hope to use to lose more weight. I really believe without my machine I couldn’t have lost the weight I have.  This is getting added to the do list. Get good sleep.

 

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Assuming my Position on the Couch

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Comforted by popcorn, and my favorite blankets. This is my lazy stance.

The confessional

I have been a lazy, lazy girl. Since I have gotten back from Oklahoma I have done nothing. My knees have been hurting so my daily walks have stopped. Every day I get this guilty feeling, like I know I should be doing something, anything to burn some calories. Alas, my days have been spent working or mainlining Veronica Mars episodes or both. Yes, husband and I are getting ready for the movie! Lofty goals aside, I really haven’t been doing anything.

I met today with a writing buddy and I realized I haven’t been meeting any of my goals. I am not exercising, eating well, writing, de-cluttering my house or scrapbooking etc.  I don’t know if anyone can relate, but I have been missing my family in Oklahoma terribly. Since I have gotten back, I have been in a funk. The bad part is that I have been marinating in it, becoming one with the couch. What do you do when you are having TV marathons, and feeling lazy and depressed? I don’t know what you do, but I eat fast food. I eat popcorn and ice cream. I haven’t weighed myself because I am in denial. I walk by the scale in my bathroom and pretend I don’t see it. For two weeks I have been pretending I am oblivious to things like weight and health all while secretly shaming myself inside.

Is sadness an excuse? Is home sickness actually something I can legitimately blame? Not likely. I mean I am not in the kind of depressed you seek treatment for. I am, as my mom would put it, throwing a mini tantrum about life. I am wailing against things that I cannot change. For those of us who like to control things it is the worst thing that can happen. I never accept the things I cannot change. I eventually have to, but sadly I am not one to accept it right away. I look for all the many ways around it. It is like fighting my way out of a hermetically sealed box. I am trying to change that about myself because my knuckles are bruised from all this fighting but I can’t seem to figure out how.

What I am going to do now, is recommit to weight loss, and make sure that I use my stubbornness for something I can change. I am determined so I guess that is something I can be thankful about. I am able to recommit and pick myself up from my blue funk (that term was coined by my grandma) and move on. Back into the fight ladies and gentlemen, off the couch and into the weight loss fray I must go. I must take back my legs and try to find an exercise that doesn’t kill my knees, probably the elliptical, snore, but that is my cross to bear. I hate the machines that go no where, but the pool is closed and I need easy knees for now.

Husband unfortunately seems to fall off the wagon with me and then I have to reach for him and painfully pull him back on. He is recommitting with me. So as of this post, we will cook at home or starve.  How many times will I go through this? Probably many, I will probably falter thousands of times for the rest of my life. I think it might get old talking about my failures on this web site so much. It is disappointing to know what you need to do, but to ignore it. I used to let the failure sink into me, and then let it ruin all my efforts, but I am not going to anymore. I am going to fight my way out of this box of my own doing. I am going to beat on the lid until I can’t beat anymore.

I have read many sources that say success is just the result of many failures. In Oprah Magazine’s April addition, Sarah Lewis author of the new book, The Rise, posits that we don’t fail enough.  She says, “Mistakes keep you striving.” Further on she says, “look at it objectively, as though you’re observing the actions of another person. Pick it apart to find what was positive.”

I can do that. I can look at myself as if it were the actions of another person. If I were talking to one of my friends I would say you are going through a hard time, but now you need to pick yourself up. You can do this. You are a smart woman who can work it out. I think I am nicer to others than I am myself sadly. I don’t know if I will ever think of my failures as success. I mean yes, she does give the example of scientists who fail, use those failures to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. Maybe I will think of it that way. Failures are the way I will figure out what didn’t work and how to fix it.

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The Big Trip

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Our one and only time in first class. Thanks airlines for messing up! Last two hours of our honeymoon flight. Still snug but comfortable.

Remember when you first got on a plane, it was exciting adrenaline filled experience, something new and fun you could tell your friends about. My sister, her baby blue eyes lit up, grinning ear to ear, said about her first trip at thirteen, “I was above the clouds!” Now that I have been on a plane at least ten or so times, I think it is a slog. I mean airlines are the only technology that never seems to improve in the past forty or so years. It seems to get worse, bigger fares, smaller seats, and now we even have to pay to bring our clothes with us. The worst part for someone like me: big boned, plus sized, chubby, fat, or whatever you want to call it. We all hate to fly. The seats are so small.

Flying from Boise, Idaho to my home state of Oklahoma is an exercise in contortion for my husband and me. We have to try and make of our limbs disappear, usually my shoulder. The small two seat planes are the lesser of two evils for us, because then we are only inconveniencing each other. We are only mushing against each other. There is a rotation we do, one leans forward while the other puts their arm behind them and vice versa. This last visit, I actually got up and stood in the isle for a while when the seat belt sign went off. I stood there nervously trying not to look at the other travelers behind us or next to us who were otherwise sleeping, surfing, or watching things. I know they were wondering what I was doing because at one point all of them were glancing at me awkwardly. For the first twenty four hours of every trip I have a sore shoulder.

The worst part is the three-seater plane. The poor passenger that has to share a row with us usually is very crabby. I know that people say that fat people should buy first class, but we can’t afford it. We especially can’t afford it for two people.  If the mainstream got their way I wouldn’t see my parents for two years instead of every year. Which my mom is tired of already; the pain on her face as I walked through security was brutal.

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Brad celebrating our good fortune!

So this is just another reason, I need to lose weight. When husband and I got together we dreamed of a life of traveling the globe, but if two hour flights are painful, then what on earth am I going to do for ten hours over an ocean. Can you imagine the cramps, aches, and headaches we would have? I want go to a gorgeous Greek island and stay in an entirely sun bleached village. I want to spend time in the vast reefs of the Maldives, and if I don’t manage to take my husband for high tea in London someday I will consider myself a failure as a wife.

So I am going to plan to fly over the ocean, and I trying to figure out a goal time to set: three years, five years or what do you suggest? I want to buy the tickets and know that is when I need to be a lot smaller. What do you think? Too risky? Too bold? Too much pressure for my husband? Perhaps two plane tickets to London, a ten day trip on a queen size bed, or a small cabin of a train would motivate us? Thoughts?

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Radiance Identified

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February’s Prevention magazine had an article called, “Is this the Life You’re Meant to Live.” In it they ask ten questions of their readers, but the one that caught me off guard was “When have I felt the most radiant?” This question was so odd to me because I didn’t quite know what it meant. Radiant’s definition is sending out light, shining, or glowing brightly. I believe that is when you are so happy you are just sending out sunshine for people to love up.

Have you had a lot of moments like this? I mean that seems pretty exceptional, or is that just me? The idea of this exercise is to find out how to get there again, and maybe do whatever it is for a living.  So here is my list of radiant moments:

  1. My wedding day
  2. The day Brad took me to see Shoshone Falls
  3. My honeymoon
  4. Both my high school graduation and then college
  5. A particularly saucy date with Bradley. We went to a Greek restaurant, and comedy club and I looked super hot.
  6. When Brad and I first met, we would spend hours in the car holding hands and talking. Those days were some of the most magical of my life.
  7. Also, at night, in the cuddles, I feel radiant
  8. My poetry reading at the log cabin is the only one that doesn’t involve spending thousands of dollars to recreate (college) or romantic times or vacations.

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What does it say about me: I like new experiences, romance, education, and to be the center of attention.  I think these were the happiest moments of my life. I made the mistake of asking my husband when he felt I was the most radiant. His responses where, “When we had sex in Newport, Oregon,” and “When you wear your glasses.”

I suppose radiance is subjective? According to him, I am only radiant when I were my glasses or have sex….hmmm. Do you think maybe he misunderstood? Well, I guess it doesn’t matter. Only that I feel radiant, right?

So while this tells me what I already know, that I enjoy accomplishing things in the field of writing, it also tells me what I need to do to be happier. I need to experience new things and keep snuggling up to my hubby.  More things to fit into my schedule! I need to do all these things more. None of these moments are particularly special. What I do know is either I accomplished something I was working on for a long time, or I was feeling particularly special and loved.

What makes you feel radiant?

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